#REVIEW: “THE DARK TOWER”
Review by Jonathan Godfrey for Mr. Will Wong
Stephen King put pen to paper in 1970, and wouldn’t complete his first Dark Tower Novel until 1982. Seven books would follow over the next 30 years, as well as a series of comics that further fleshed out the times and trials of Gunslinger Roland Deschain. Bringing us to today, and the release of the aptly- titled Feature Film, The Dark Tower.
After ten years of production, director Nikolej Arcel was finally able to lift the Gunslinger off the printed page and slap him onto the silver screen. With a modest budget (i.e. sixty million), Arcel and his team condensed 4600+ pages of story and ideas into 95 minutes of action packed spectacle. Fans of the Books will note the extent changes undertaken in this adaptation, while newcomers will be offered an easy entry point into the multimedia franchise.
Its story follows Jake, a young New Yorker who is plagued by nightmares of a Man in Black plotting the destruction of a Dark Tower. With each assault that Jake witnesses, the city quakes and the people of New York are left wondering why the earth continues to assault them. Meanwhile, in the world of Jake’s dreams, a gun wielding loner stalks the Man in Black… eager for revenge.
Idris Elba plays the Gunslinger, and Matthew McConaughey plays his nemesis, the Man in Black. Though the extent of their roles is far from that portrayed in the books, they are nevertheless perfectly cast. Elba brings both brooding and bravery to the role of Roland. While McConaughey provides the arrogance required for the darkly-cloaked Walter. Furthermore, Tom Taylor is a great Jake Chambers. He’s believable as the young boy who acts as a conduit between our world of Keystone Earth, and that of Roland’s Mid-World.
It’s unfortunate that fans are not afforded a longer and more engrossing Epic, however, as has been mentioned previously, this is a great gateway for newcomers, especially today’s youth (who are its intended audience).
The Dark Tower was begun by a young Stephen King. Over the decades it grew like the man who wrote it. The Film returns us to his youngEr, simpler approach, and welcomes a new age to walk its wheels. However, if you are already a fan, fear not, there are plenty of Easter Eggs for you to find. All in all it’s a fun outing featuring some of contemporary literature’s greatest lore and legends. So if you’re ready for some new fantasy, coupled by some incredible Gun-Fu, The Dark Tower is the one for you.
Sony Pictures Canada release THE DARK TOWER Friday, August 4, 2017.