McCann At The Movies: ‘The Dark Tower’ Is A Bona Fide Turkey

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Our movie guy, John McCann, went along to see ‘The Dark Tower’ this week…he wishes he hadn’t…

Based on the Stephen King novel series of the same name, ‘The Dark Tower’ sees the last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain (played by Idris Elba), locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim (Matthew McConaughey), also known as the Man in Black, and determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together.

With the fate of the world at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland (with the help of his sidekick Jake) can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.

Continued below…


Combining Stephen King source material with two talented and reliable lead actors, under the tutelage of a promising screenwriter and director in the shape of Nikolaj Arcel and backed by a sizable budget and marketing campaign, this should normally be enough to guarantee critical and commercial success in the highly competitive market of big budget blockbusters.

Walter (Matthew McConaughey) and Roland (Idris Elba) in ‘The Dark Tower’.

If, however, you try and squeeze eight volumes (more than 4,000 pages) of source material into 95 minutes of a genre Rubik’s cube of a movie — that appears to lose interest in itself half way through — you end up with The Dark Tower.

No CGI effects or awe inspiring cinematography can save this monster mess of a movie that starts poorly and doesn’t really improve.

The narrative and tone of this film are both incoherent and it seems to be undecided as to who the target audience is for this hugely disappointing feature.

Matthew McConaughey continues his unfortunate critical and commercial slide since the highs of his Oscar winning performance in Dallas Buyers Club, as he gives his best panto villain impression as the Man in Black.

There are a few (if rather small) crumbs of comfort to be had here however. Idris Elba does his reputation no harm at all and almost single-handedly rescues this film from complete annihilation in his turn as the mythic Gunslinger and some of the fight sequences boast the usual impressive CGI effects evident in most big budget blockbusters nowadays.

But overall, unfortunately after the highs of Dunkirk a few weeks ago and a reasonably solid summer blockbuster season, the Dark Tower is an undoubted low and one most definitely worth avoiding. A bona fide turkey!


For more of John McCann’s movie reviews, check out his Facebook page here and website here

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