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Jascha Wilson Reviews – The Dark Tower

Why hello there Flicker Fans, welcome again to another riveting review written by yours truly. That’s right, it’s time to hear my thoughts, my expertise, my insight, and my glorious opinion on our film for this weekend. Let’s talk about The Dark Tower.

(I do realize that this may have been quite the ego centric build up for this review, and yes, maybe even a little conceited. But as a dear friend once told me, “Sweetheart, I’m not conceited, I’m convinced.” {HA!} While my review for this film may be THAT amazing, it’s still fun to go into a review with this much confidence.)

Now, that being said, I think we’ll lead right into the idea that this film DIDN’T have the confidence to be what it should have been. A epic story that is just part one of what could have been as epic as Harry Potter (ok, maybe not QUITE that epic, but close). It’s disconcerting when you read articles that start off by saying, “12 movies you need to watch before you watch The Dark Tower.” What the hell man? Who has time to watch and EXTRA 12 movies just to understand ONE?

The Dark Tower, originally written by Stephen King, starring Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, and Tom Taylor is a fantastic example how to cast incredible talent, and then fall short when it comes to having a great story to work with. This book (that is just part one of eight books) that King has written about the Dark Tower and the Gunslinger, and they have gone and compiled into a movie that really doesn’t give you much to enjoy. Welcome to the wild wild west, but with sci-fi tendencies. Jesus, I guess the lesson that Cowboys and Aliens tried to teach us didn’t really sink in, huh?

Directed by Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair), this movie lacked something. To borrow from an article I saw, “It wasn’t good, it wasn’t bad, it was just there.” That’s pretty much how I felt after I walked out of the movie. It was missing something, backstory, character development, meaning? I’m not really sure what we didn’t get in this movie, but I know I didn’t feel satisfied when I was done. I like Kings writing, I’ve liked it since I was a kid. I remember reading the first book (The Dark Tower), well over (cough, cough) 30 years ago. While I don’t remember ALL the details from the book, I know that I don’t remember a lot of what went on in this story. I don’t know what they were trying to do with it, or where they wanted to take us. Are we setting this up for a hopeful franchise? Who was the Gunslinger really? Who was Walter? Why was he so motivated to do what he wanted to do (sorry for the cryptic writing, I don’t want to spoil anything if you still want to watch this movie)? I have so many questions as to what was going on, I just decided to give up and enjoy the fight scenes, special effects, and the acting. Speaking of the acting, it was fun and exciting. McConaughey was fantastic as a bad guy, and honestly, I would love to see him do something like this again. It’s fun to watch an actor who has amazing talent, just sink into a character that is totally out of (well, character) for them and play a villain or complete opposite of what we’re used to seeing. It’s one of the reason why I loved Tom Cruise in Collateral so much. He played a villain and pretty much the worst kind of psychopath you can imagine–I can’t be the only one who likes to see this kind of change from actors.

But back to The Tower.

Elba was fantastic as well, but honestly, when is he not? Some of the actors that you see in todays films are just “good.” I feel like Idris Elba is going to be fun in something no matter what. If you’re a fan of what this guy can do with a role, then you’ll really enjoy his dark, gritty, emotionally abused character Roland Deschain aka the Gunslinger. He totally encapsulates the role of someone who trusts no one, has lost everything, and lives for one thing; the death of Matthew McConaugheys character, the Man in Black.

The other stand out of this film was Tom Taylor. What else is there really to say about this young talent other than he is damn good in this film. He held his own aside two very established actors, and personally, I hope to see him again soon in future films.

Over all, this western-sci-fi-novel-part-one story was just, “ok”. We talked about this movie on the show Sunday night, and my opinion hasn’t really changed at all. It was ok, but that’s about it. It’s also not comforting when you start reading articles that say, they had to do extensive reshoots due to bad reviews from screening audiences. To me that makes me want to ask the question, “what the hell was wrong the first time around if this was the finished product?” Makes me sad.

You could probably wait until this is on video, it should be in about a month.

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