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“The Dark Tower”: A Review

Lucas gives an in depth review of the new film, "The Dark Tower"

Lucas Cook, Junior Staff Writer

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Sometimes, all it takes for something to be “good” in our eyes is simply for it to be better than we expected it to be. With low ratings, I entered Nikolaj Arcel’s “The Dark Tower”, loosely based off of the novels of the same name written by Stephen King, expecting to see a complete bomb of a film. I left the theater feeling slightly torn on an aesthetically pleasing action-packed adventure that was held back by a poor script and dialogue.

The movie adaptation of King’s novel series attempts to be an action-packed, world-crossing adventure and a race against time for young Jake (played by Tom Taylor) and Roland Deschain––a gritty gunslinger played by Idris Elba––as they attempt to save multiple worlds from the evil sorcerer played by Matthew McConaughey, Walter.
Overall, the movie felt inconsistent. The pacing in the beginning differs harshly from the middle and the end, as the movie begins so incredibly slowly that the couple sitting behind me left thirty minutes in. The lack of balance in the script is appalling. The ending seems rushed and occurs with hardly any buildup other than the sadistic death of Jake’s mother, but the final battle is portrayed so vividly and triumhantly that the viewer initially feels like there is some sort of emotional accomplishment made. Actor Idris Elba is by far the best part of the movie. His believable dialogue and grit in the few action scenes, alongside McConaughey’s unsettling performance as the villain, almost were enough on their own to earn the lm a pass. All other main characters in the film, however, are pathetic. Their dull dialogue and bored expressions throughout the film make the production seem more like a high-budget fan film than a feature film. Some characters,
like Jake’s friend, are annoying and monotonous. The action scenes themselves are few and far between, but they are masterfully choreographed and executed when they occur. The final nail in
the coffin for me was the forgettably bland score. It doesn’t t with the fantastic visuals and perfect story King wrote. The lm’s atmosphere and locations are by far some of the best I’ve seen in
recent films, but the lack of a score to go along with it hurts it in spades.
In the end, it seems like Arcel struggled to fit King’s vast lore and story into an hour and a half. Pacing issues, lack of a score, and abhorrent acting hold back award-worthy performances by Elba and McConaughey and some beautiful scenes when they occur. You won’t leave the theater feeling ready to take on an army of darkness, but at least appreciate it for what it is: a fun action movie that isn’t without its’ pitfalls. If you want to see a movie this weekend, aim with your eye, not your hand. For firing at The Dark Tower and hoping for a masterpiece will forget the face
of your father.

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“The Dark Tower”: A Review