Tha last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), has been locked in an eternal battle with The Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey). Deschain has been trying to prevent The Man in Black from obliterating The Dark Tower, which keeps the evil beings away from all the worlds.
This is an eight book series by Stephen King. He’s poured his heart and soul into the story of The Gunslinger and Man in Black. Right off the bat you have McConaughey and Elba which is a massive advantage this film has going into it. You’ll at the very least get people in the theater to see in. When the marketing started to come out, I wasn’t sold completely on this project however. Nothing really pulled me in. It looked like another “beam in the sky” movie. Then experts of the material say this film is a sequel to those books, and not an adaptation of the stories already published. Once Sony put out the runtime of one hour and forty minutes, my expectations weren’t as high. How can anyone cram all this material into a film this short?
The Dark Tower was a lot better than I expected, but not a great movie by any means. Let’s start with some of the negatives. It does feel like a hundred pounds of stuff in a five pound bag. You felt how enormous the lore was, and you want to explore certain things in this world, but you’re never in one place long enough to take it in. You want to know how The Man in Black and Gunslinger got to this point in their lives, you’re already in this story when tensions have reached their highest. It didn’t build to that point, it started at the height of that rivalry. If The Dark Tower was an hour longer, the film as a whole would’ve benefited greatly.
All that being said, I thoroughly enjoyed watching this. The performances are great. McConaughey and Elba keep you invested throughout. Elba plays the action hero we know he’s capable of playing in the role of The Gunslinger. This role was perfect for him. He’s a rugged man that’s been through a lot. You aren’t shown a ton of his past, but the way Elba plays it you can tell this isn’t the beginning of The Gunslinger.
McConaughey is everything you’d expect from him. He delivers epic one liners in his suave tone, while being menacing at the same time. The Man in Black pretty much tells you what to do and it happens in a instant. He says “stop breathing” you die right away, “kill each other” the two people will go at it to the death. Watching McConaughey do that was some of the best moments of the film.
Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) is the glue. He has these dreams that lead him into the world of The Gunslinger and The Man in Black. His performance was great. I had never seen that kid before, but he crushed it. He brought the little emotion this film had. Taylor made me feel for him. The chemistry between Taylor and Elba is strong. The Gunslinger settles into the father figure role to Jake, and you see how much they care for each other.
The visual effects here are fantastic, with The Tower looking massive. You’ll marvel in how epic it is. Plus the action sequences are crazy. The Gunslinger has some epic moments. I believe The Dark Tower has a lot going on. However, the performances, action, visual effects, and some decent world building made this an enjoyable experience.