The Dark Tower: Did It Live Up to The Hype? (Review)
Ladies and gentlemen, there are many geeks in the world that love and adore The Dark Tower series because of how dark, intense, original, and fantastic it is. When it was announced that a movie was going to be released, folks went crazy with excitement. As time rolled on it was revealed that the legendary Idris Elba would be the Gunslinger and everyone’s excitement doubled. Everything from the commercials to write ups looked as if this was going to be one of the greatest films of 2017 hands down. But did it live up to the hype?
Let’s jump into the review!
The best aspect of this film are the special effects that happen with the fight scenes. When the Gunslinger slings his guns it is wonderful. This was the only part of the film that had me on the edge of my seat and yet it somehow felt underplayed. He did was his guns on various enemies but it was always child’s play. The only time he struggled to fight an enemy was when a beast slipped through the darkness and got into melee range. The only other time he struggled was when he faced his arch nemesis, Walter played by Matthew McConaughey.
The film would have improved a ton had there been a few situations where the Gunslinger struggled to achieve victory by maybe facing someone of equal skill or in a terrible situation. Instead the Gunslinger bested all foes no matter the odds. Walter also had some pretty cool scenes as he used his power to influence others by merely waving his hand or talking. It probably saved the studio a ton of money but adding some additional effects would have helped really convey the mysticism. Still awesome to watch though!
This is where the film gets shaky. With veteran actors like Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba, you’d think this film would be nothing but amazing, however it is actually the acting of Jake, played by Tom Taylor that hurt the film. The boy actor did a great job when the scene required an awkward, troubled young boy who did nothing but brood. The moment a scene required anything more, he could not deliver, every scene that was meant to be emotional or humorous just flopped. It was almost cringe worthy to know that a scene was supposed to make me feel a certain emotion but instead I had to sit and watch his face twist and listen to him cry and be completely void of emotion.
I almost wished the film had been more of the Gunslinger and his solo journey across mid earth. Walter was a good enough villain that had no problem doing evil deeds sometimes for no other reason than to do them, although Matthew McConaughey’s acting was pretty much himself in a suit he did well enough that you feared his appearance.
The other aspect of the film that surprised my was the length of the film which was only an hour and a half. This film could have easily been a two hour or two and a half hour film with the amount of world building and adventures they embarked on. Because of the time constraint, it all felt rushed. Every joke came and went to the point where a sneeze could cause you to miss something. The scenes of bonding between the Gunslinger and Jake were so brief that it was awkward.
The scene that burns in my mind the most is after a traumatic experience, Jake blames the Gunslinger for something and in a fit of frustration he walks off. The next scene is him teaching the boy how to shoot his famous guns and in a matter of moments he is able to learn the lessons and bond with the young protagonist. These scenes are so important that by rushing them you only hurt your film’s most iconic moments!
The story of The Dark Tower is that the universe is in danger from the Man In Black aka Walter who seeks to destroy the Dark Tower and destroy the only barriers protecting the various versions of Earth. Jake Chambers is a small kid plagued with visions of horrific events who eventually stumbles onto an adventure with the Gunslinger to save the universe. There are beasts, magic, awesome weapons, portals, and so much more in this world that it is hard not to love it!
I absolutely understand how people could fall so deeply in love with the book series because I craved so much more form the world! This helped make The Dark Tower so entertaining despite it’s flaws.
The hype for The Dark Tower hurt the film because my expectation was so high. Had this film had no hype at all, I think many viewers would enjoy the film because it is actually very entertaining and original. The visual effects and fight scenes in this film make it one of my favorite because you can’t get much more badass than Idris Elba fighting beasts with six shooters, he legitimately carried this film! I hope a directors cut or sequel comes out and gives the film the proper time to tell the story it needs to tell. This could have easily been fantastic but it just lacked in so many areas that it is just good enough to be worth your money.