Warning the following contains spoilers for the movie “The Dark Tower”
Hahahahahahahaha. Oh that wasn’t a comedy? You sure? Oh it was a gritty teen coming-of-age drama film attempting serious issues and problems… really? You want me to watch this instead of Defenders do you? Lets review The Dark Tower.
Once upon a time, Lagertha queen of the Vikings and mother to kings, decided to take a trip to modern day fantasy New York and get into a relationship with an asshole. In todays review, a boy who draws kind-of-ok-but-not-ok sketches of Matthew McConaughey gets caught up in an INTERGALACTIC WAR ADVENTURE WITH IDRIS ELBA. Before we rip this movie a new one, lets start this recap/ review off with an important first note. I would like to take 10 seconds to violently condemn the main character’s friend for being the literal worst child actor on this planet. That feels better.
Immediate movie trope of “He draws pictures so he’s obviously batshit whackodoodledoo.” The kicker of this movie is, in case you didn’t automatically predict it, that the kid isn’t crazy and everything he dreams is totally legit. Oh no! Nobody believed him and now it’s too late. Sad times. Fortunately for Screwloose Protagonist Alpha, the internet is absolutely a thing he should be getting advice from. Trolling forum users come to his rescue in a timely cameo by providing an address to a house that he drew (scan it in next time…ok champ?). The house has some kind of spooky Doctor Who wood demon thing living in it which explodes at the mere presence of Screwloose Protagonist, blasting the audience with a gigantic neon sign saying the words “POINTLESS PLOT DEVICE”.
To be clear, if my first glance through a teleportation/ Stargate device was an endless desert with no possible frame of reference for navigation (or chance or return), I might have taken a couple of seconds to pour a glass of water or something. I may have decided that I don’t have suicidal tendencies and just not stepped through it at all… but that’s just regular old me. “HEY IM NOT CRAZY” yells the kid gleefully, before dying of thirst in a desert on an alien world. At least he died knowing he was right, I guess. The fact that he found Idris Elba in this bullshit is mind boggling if you really think about it. I know theres an essence of predestination you have to throw out the door when watching a movie like this, but fucking seriously!? This kid walks through some sand dunes for a day or so and finds the one person in the entire universe he’s looking for…fuuuuuck.
Idris man, I love ya. You’re always my choice for 007. You’ll always be the Heimdall of my dreams… always the Stacker Pentacost who cancels my apocalypse. But will you be my gunslinger as well? Sure…I can dig it. I’ll be honest though, I really don’t remember your name, bro. House of… El? You related to a certain Kal El there Idris or…? I remember that the Man in Black is introduced as ‘Marvin’ or something by Gunslingerman which totally destroys the entire groundwork of spookyness that they were giving to his character up until that point. Well played movie. I’m pretty sure Idris Elba is also the only actual actor in this movie as well… or at least the only one that realises this is being watched by more than just fans at a cosplay convention.
Gunslinger Mcbeardypants explains that The Dark Tower is a pillar in the middle of the universe (props to the design team here… it’s probably the coolest looking thing in this shitshow). This pillar repels Cthulhu-esque creatures from invading and buggering things up through Stranger Things portals. Every time Johnny Cash mindwarps a kid into attacking the pillar, the boundaries blur and CGI baddies start falling through the holes. Cool, simple, to the point, poorly executed.
McConaughey phones it in 100%. I used to like you Matthew, what happened to you buddy? It’s basically Tuesday on set for him during the whole movie. It’s not a cool Friday or casual Wednesday at the office for him… its those days nobody gives two craps about on repeat for 90 minutes. The only difference is that he occasionally pulls out some Scarlet Witch finger twirls to expresses his inner diva. Maybe it’s a Thursday then. Anyway, what are his powers exactly? It’s super unclear what he can actually do. Between Purple Man Jessica Jones villainy and the Neo bullet catching, he loses me a lot with what his goddamn limits are. Is there a reason his powers don’t work on Elba specifically? WHAT THE FUCK ARE HIS MOTIVATIONS?! Why is he even doing this? Why are all these people so hyped for inviting the goddamn king of nightmare monsters Cthulhu to the birthday party? What?
CGI monsters give you Hep C and a regular old infection apparently, so stock up on the penicillin when the apocalypse happens. Marvin can burn people alive as well, so there goes Lagertha. Heyyy the kid’s a gunslinger now and Elba is somehow the descendant of King Arthur (did I hear that right?). Kid gets kidnapped and forced to attack the Tower…which I thought was billions of lightyears away at the center of the universe, but ok. Idris kills the baddie, the universe is saved and The Dark Tower survives. The End?
Sadly during the whole film I was thinking to myself “damn this will make a good sequel”. The ideas are great, the execution is just ridiculous. How the hell do they make a sequel to this now as well, considering the lack of loose ends? Lets be fair, they’re probably not getting a sequel, but what would be good for a the next chapter?
First of all I’d hire a better cinematographer. Films like Ghost in the Shell can get away with this rubbish when it looks goddamn pissing gorgeous. If you can make every frame a background image, you’re good. Just look at Hack, I mean Zach Snyder… he been making great looking shit films for years. Give me IMAX quality or give me death. Also make the film scarier! This is Stephen King, director, make the monsters more hellish man! I appreciated that they used a lot of practical effects where they could in the movie, but spend more time rendering your big baddies, would you. Ohhhh it has a spiky tail that almost fatally injures our hero by stabbing at him from above. For fuck sake, stop taking pointers from The Matrix Revolutions, it’s not a great idea to do that. Make your monsters unique to look at so we can sit in that comfy and easy to sleep in cinema chair in a dark room and go “ooooh thats cool”. Edge of Tomorrow, remember that ditty? All they did was scribble fucking 3D lines on a screen and it was a million times better than what you guys came up with in this.
Lets be fair, this film was impressive in just how bollocks it was. The problem I have most of all is I’m not sure how much this film correlates to the book. I’ve not read the book, so don’t know if it was just bad because it doesn’t translate well to screen or if its bad because its fucking BAD.
I give this movie a 4/10 because its based on a book called The Dark Tower by a highly noted horror writer and was made to be a PG13 adventure flick.