Stephen King film trashed by critics

04 August, 2017, 00:10 | Author: Pamela Mathis
  • Matthew McconaugheyReuters

It's an interesting read, but the detail that sticks out the most is that three separate entities apparently had some form of veto power over the film.

For two weeks now, Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk has been topping the box office but its time will soon be over with the coming of The Dark Tower.

After years and years of waiting for an adaptation of Stephen King's epic series, The Dark Tower is now only days away from opening in theaters. And though the film's long, meandering journey to the silver screen is public knowledge, we're now learning that The Dark Tower was plagued by red tape all throughout production, as Sony Pictures, Stephen King, Media Rights Capital (MRC), and director Nikolaj Arcel allegedly clashed over story concerns and restrictive vetos.

Did I mention the special effects? The film, at a lean 95 minutes, has the unmistakable air of a mitigated disaster. The Dark Tower has been in production for around ten years in some form or another. What's left is an elaborate and grand scheme told briskly but emptily - like if someone tried to explain the HBO series "Westworld" in 30 seconds or less. That's exactly what director Nikolai Arcel has attempted to do with The Dark Tower, and while it might not hit the same surreal highs its source material, it's at least a valiant effort. The elaborate concoction of genres - it's King to the max - would likely humble most any filmmaker.

That same sentiment can be found in numerous reviews one may come across. He will be joined by Dennis Haysbert as Roland's father Steven and Tom Taylor as Jake Chambers.

Roland (Idris Elba) and Walter (Matthew McConaughey) in Columbia Pictures' THE DARK TOWER. "It's all real." He tosses in a shoe as a test and soon thereafter plummets in.

"There are no gunslingers", the gun-slinging Roland answers him.

And while this all sounds fantastical and mind-bending, The Dark Tower is startlingly low on both energy or any larger sense of magic or a wider world beyond whatever Jake is able to experience.

If the film has a strength, it's when Jake recognizes the ridiculousness of this universe and the audience can laugh (unintentionally) at it. His "shine", we are often told, is strong and pure. "The Dark Tower" also serves as a central clearing house for Stephen King mythology, with references to "The Shining", obviously, but also cameo appearances by Cujo the dog, Christine the vehicle, the monsters from "The Mist", and other creatures under the cultural bed. He pulls it off, kinda, but had the character been given a little more room, and time, to strut his stuff, it would probably be easier to fully get on McConaughey's wacky wavelength. Frustrated with his lack of progress, Jake's mom and cartoonishly wicked step-dad enlist the help of a special camp for troubled kids, which is really the Man in Black's covert team of child abductors in disguise. His dark powers are such that he can catch bullets between his fingers and, to almost all but Roland, give flip commands like "Stop breathing" and the victim will promptly keel over.

Are you headed to see The Dark Tower, naysayers be damned? We've seen a number of child characters thought to be going insane but who in reality are the only ones who actually know what is going on, but Taylor manages to make it feel fresh in the early part of "The Dark Tower".



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