Short Attention Span Review: The Dark Tower (2017)
Let's be clear about this: I wasn't looking forward to this version of The Dark Tower. I treasure the books, and if it were up to me, we would get an adaptation akin to what Ron Howard allegedly pitched. I've read that he envisioned a sprawling saga unfolding over the course of a few movies with a television series serving to fill in the gaps. That sounds about right. Then this movie hit, and the buzz surrounding it was not the sort of buzz that a devotee of the material might hope for. No, it was more like the buzz that occurs when flies discover a fresh pile of poo. I was already skeptical of the approach and the casting (but not for the reasons that so many were bitching about), and I really wasn't feeling it. So, of course, once I actually sat down to view director Nikolaj Arcel's much-maligned film, I wound up enjoying the hell out of it even if it is a bit goofy. First off, it makes no attempt to faithfully adapt King's novels, merely borrowing names and themes to go along with a few plot threads in what is clearly a totally different take on the material. By and large, this kept me from measuring it against the literature that inspired it, and that benefited the movie in a big way. Secondly, it put two fantastic performers in a wonky fantasy/sci-fi/horror/western that essentially stands as an oversimplified good vs. evil yarn with a lean run time. I'm cool with that. Was it groundbreaking? Hardly. Was it terrible? Nope. Was it entertaining? I do believe so. McConaughey was game as the baddie, channeling Nicholas Cage when Nicholas Cage is invested in a part (which is admittedly rare), but this take on The Dark Tower is undoubtedly Idris Elba's show from start to finish. As one would expect, Elba was magnificent in his role; dude was good with bullets and even better with CGI. At one key moment, he fired one bullet, then fired a second bullet that ricocheted before catching up with the first bullet--and redirecting it. I was in awe. Seriously, I enjoyed all the Easter eggs and the action bits were ludicrous but fun to watch. I won't make a case for The Dark Tower as a quality adaptation or a fine film, for it is surely neither of these things. I will say I went in expecting a total shitshow, and instead I turned my brain off for 95 minutes and had a cheesy good time with Roland of Gilead and the nefarious man in black.
I can only hope that I haven't forgotten the face of my father . . .
Final Grade: C+
|Say what you will about the movie, but don't you dare knock my main man Idris Elba.|