Stephen King fans have had a lot to be giddy about with adaptations of two of his major works hitting the big screen this year. It looks to be as terrifying as the novel and The Dark Tower trailer promised an epic introduction to the fantasy world of the eight-book series.
For those not familiar with the story, the title refers to a massive tower that stands at the center of the universe, protecting us from a darkness that would take over should it fall. The Man in Black (played by Matthew McConaughey) channels the psychic powers of children to attack the tower and eventually trigger the apocalypse. Out to defeat him is The Last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), whose motives aren’t quite guided by the protection of the universe. At the center of it all is Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor), a young boy in “our world” who has visions of the two men and sets out to find them.
Part fantasy, part horror, part western, the novels comprise some 4000+ pages of King’s writing. And having taken a decade to bring this ambitious project to fruition, “epic” is likely what everyone was expecting from the film version of The Dark Tower.
Spoiler alert: it’s not epic.
Combining elements from the various novels in the series, the film’s 95-minute runtime is surprising and a bit underwhelming. It feels more akin to The Sorcerer’s Apprentice than The Lord of the Rings – if the latter is what you’re anticipating.
But is it a bad film? Not at all. Elba and McConaughey are exactly what you’d expect them to be. The humour hits its mark and the pace is steady, leaving no time for boredom. Ultimately, it’s a classic tale of good versus evil – with the fate of the universe resting on the shoulders of some kid from New York.
What about you? Did you read the novels? What are you expecting from this film and if you’ve seen it, how did it stack up? Are you hoping to see more of the series, either on the big or small screen?
The Dark Tower is now playing in theatres.