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The Dark Tower – The Dope Sheet Movie Review

Release Date:  Aug. 4, 2017
Rating:  PG-13
Run Time:  1 hours 35 min
After Credit Scene:  NO
IMAX Viewing:  NO
3D Viewing:  NO
Reviewer:  Wayne Demers
The Dope Sheet Score:  5.8 out of 10

A non-spoiler review.

What you need to know about The Dark Tower:  The movie is based a series of books by Steven King.  Although I have not read the books, I am aware that they are very lengthy reads and there is a lot of material to draw from to develop a story for the big screen.

The last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black, determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.”

What works:  Very little.  Idris Elba plays the “Roland,” the gun slinger.  His character is the only character that was developed enough that I cared about his journey.  Those who like Steven King will be happy with the hidden eggs that pop up in the background of the film.  If you aren’t familiar with King’s work, you won’t care if you miss them.  Yup, that is it.  Kudos to the advertising team that created the posters and trailers.  They did their jobs of getting my interest and seeing the film.

What doesn’t work:  Every character, other than Roland, lacks enough substance that we just don’t really care about them.  Not the mother, step dad, Jake the hero of the film, or any other character has enough known about them that we care.  The movie felt like a B film from the 80’s with its brushing through the story to move to the action or conflict scenes.  This is one of Matthew McConaughey’s most lack luster performances and I can only attribute it to the lack of material he had to work with.

Not that Steven King films do well, but this one had a lot of hope as the books are lengthy and well-liked by his fans.  This movie, however, appears to have brushed upon the characters like a checklist to ensure they touched on them.  Those who have read the books, I’d like to hear from you because the film continues to put you in one situation and then another and then another without providing the viewer enough time to get a feeling of what the significance is of each location.

By the end of the film, I felt relieved it was over and honestly didn’t care one bit about anything that had happened.  There were opportunities for the movie to rise to the occasion and entertain us, but it couldn’t get its feet under itself to make the leap.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, I give The Dark Tower an 5.8.  The movie isn’t worth concessions.

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