Swanner: This is a story of good vs evil. The last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey), determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds all worlds together. Based on a series of novels from Stephen King, The Dark Tower started out as short stories that would later became the novel The Gunslinger. A total of eight books were published in this series.
This story follows Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor), a young boy with the shine, who is being hunted by the Man in Black and his henchmen. The Man in Black thinks Jake’s shine will finally bring down the Dark Tower. Jake meets up with Roland, who realizes he can use the boy as bait to confront the Man in Black. Not having read any of the books, I’m guessing Director/writer Nikolaj Arcel, along with co-writers Akiva Goldsman, Jeff Pinkner, and Anders Thomas Jensen were trying to create what they thought would be the most marketable story-line. I’m curious as to what other story-lines there were and why they choose this one. I ask because this doesn’t feel like it would have been the first book.
As a stand alone story it works but, without revealing too much, I’m wondering where they can go from here. Taylor and Elba are very likable in their roles; where McConaughey seems out of place. It felt like he was going to try to sell me a Lincoln at any time. His lines were delivered to laughs, but I still don’t get why the audience thought he was funny. I’m hoping there is a future for this franchise because fans of the books have been waiting a long time for it’s theatrical debut, and I don’t think anyone will be happy with this incarnation.
Swanner: 2 1/2 Stars