Before going through the ups and downs with this review, here’s a history lesson on the troubled 10 year gap production on Stephen King’s film adaptation of The Dark Tower.
It all started in 2007, J.J. Abrams was hired to produce and direct the picture after bidding the films rights to King for just $19 bucks. The number 19 is a recurring element from the series which is completely understandable because he’s got a lot of green in his bank account and you gotta represent your work in an immersive way to live and breath the creative atmosphere. Two years later, Abrams was having a difficult time trying to keep his schedule on track, due to the fact that he was working on the reboot of Star Trek at time, plus he’s been working on a couple of episodes for his hit TV series Lost. As a result, he decided to call it quits.
A year later, Rom Howard was brought on board to direct the adaptation for The Dark Tower, with the support from Universal Pictures along with Howard’s closest colleague Brian Grazer, (co-founder of Imagine Entertainment) by attempting to translate the books into the big and small screens in extreme detail between seasons and sequels. At first, Universal originally wanted Javier Bardem to star as Roland Deschain. The Main Protagonist of the series. Sometime later, Univseral was undergoing budgetary concerns. Because of financial problems, Universal transferred the film rights to Sony, unfortunately, Bardem left the project.
In 2012, during rewrites for the screenplay, rumors speculated that Russell Crowe was gonna saddle up for the part as Roland, but he turned it down due to the fact he was working on Man Of Steel and Noah. The closest thing for him to play a cowboy, is the western, 3:10 To Yuma. Three years later, after Sony approved the script, production for the film began with Ron Howard co-producing the film while another filmmaker Nikolaj Arcel took over Howard’s director’s chair. Idris Elba (The Wire, Luther, and his role as Heimdall in Thor/MCU) signed on as Roland, and Academy Award winner, Matthew McConaughey, (Dallas Buyers Club, Interstellar, and True Decective Season 1) signed on as “The Man In Black,” The Main Antagonist of the series.
The Dark Tower was released in August 4, 2017. It received negative reviews from critics and Rotten Tomatoes has given it an 18 percent. Which is close to King’s epic disaster Maximum Overdrive. Now that I explained as much as I can about the production history, lets see what the damage is shall we?
The following article contains massive SPOILERS.
Pros: Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, both did a superb job on their respective performances.
If you’re a big time Stephen King fan, the film is filled with numerous Easter Eggs related to King’s works. Many of his novels are connected whenever a character mentions a previous event from another story. For the first time in cinematic history, all of the King related film adaptations are officially canon. You thought every single season of American Horror Story is connected? Guess again, King did it first.
Action Sequences are filed with dark magic and gunplay.
Roland says “The Ginslinger’s Creed.” Its similar to Green Latnern’s oath.
Many of King’s tropes are downplayed. I’ve found two tropes such as a kid with psychic powers or precognition, (the ability to see visions) and a bully.
The Special Effects weren’t fake like The Meatball looking creatures from The Langoliers.
Funny Moments with Roland having a Fish Out Of Water scenario.
Cons: Jake, the kid in this film wasn’t interesting at all, he’s boring as heck.
When Jake gets attacked by a creature made of wooden floor, the way he screams, felt silly. Jonah Hill’s character from Accepted can do a “better scream for your life” moment than him!
You thought this was gonna be based off of the first book, well you’re gonna be disappointed.
An Editing Error involving The Man In Black confronting Roland at a gun store. At first he talks to him in person while standing up, a few seconds later he sits in a chair. Look he has the power to teleport, but does he really need to sit down while attempting to duke it out with Roland?
If you’re not familiar with the mythology, you’re gonna be lost, unless you’ve read the books.
This film is a direct sequel to the books, why is it called The Dark Tower instead of calling it The Dark Tower Part 8? Oh my God, this a direct follow up to the books? Ron Howard made an incoherent decision by approving the script without trying to look up extensive research on the series. Take notes producers and writers out there, do yourself a favor and don’t rush forward to an 8th installment as the first live action adaptation of a franchise! It’s gonna make people scratch their heads! I’m one of those people because I own three books. I haven’t made it to the eighth entry. You leave me know choice but to double down some points!
The Man In Black dies wide open. Way to go Akvia Goldsman for giving away a huge spoiler for those who haven’t read the books. He’s still alive in the 7th book but there’s no actual 8th book in the series! Dang it, now I have to double down the points again! Shame on you! First you wrote the screenplay for Batman & Robin, and now this?!
The Final Verdict: F, as in FAKER!
Was it worth a Ten Year Gap of production?
This has got to be one of the worst Stephen King adaptations since Maximum Overdrive! Do not waste your hard earned cash on this piece of elephant poop! If you want to see a way better film, go out and see Dunkirk or Atomic Blonde.
I hope Bill Skarsgård’s interpretation of Pennywise from It, is scary enough to get my hard earned cash worth of scares galore. Please Skarsgård don’t screw this up! You’re our last hope for a possible Stephen King adaptation.