The Dark Tower is the big screen adaption of Stephen King’s popular book series of the same name. Whilst it is not a direct adaption of the book, it follows Roland Deschain the last Gunslinger on his quest to kill Walter O’Dim, the Man In Black, and in turn, save the aforementioned Dark Tower. So, is it any good?Stephen King’s magnum opus The Dark Tower has finally arrived in Australian cinemas. We waited 10 years, and multiple attempts at starting with multiple directors attached (who ultimately left the project for one reason or another). Reasonably green Danish director Nikolaj Arcel eventually landed the gig, and he has handled the coveted task smoothly. What you need to remember heading into The Dark Tower is that the story is 8 books containing over a whopping 4 and a half thousand pages. The movie was never going to be a direct adaption of any of these books, and with a TV series on its way helmed by Glen Mazarra of The Walking Dead lineage, to me this was the safest option.As a huge fan of the books, admittedly I approached this movie with some caution and the resounding negativity from its initial reviews echoing in my head. No, it isn’t without its flaws, in this instance, the script is a little weak and Mathew McConaughey’s the Man in the Black, whilst impressively portrayed here, resembles a Backstreet Boy gone evil. The lean 95-minute runtime sounded like an odd choice for an epic adventure and caused some early internet panic, but it’s neat and fast so this shorter time frame works.The movie is obviously laying the ground work for a TV series and another possible movie to continue the story, so it does hinge somewhat on the series taking place. As a stand alone movie with no history of the book, you would be forgiven for not understanding what is going on in terms of character development; unfortunately, there is very little. Then on the other spectrum, fans who wanted to see The Gunslinger (the first of the novels in the series) come to the big screen will probably be disappointed with such a general adaptation. It is a solid fantasy movie, however; the setting is amazing, Mid World the home of the Gunslinger is Vast and beautifully empty in contrast to the hustle and bustle of Jake Chambers’ Keystone Earth, or our world.The references to Stephen King’s world are thick and fast from the beginning which is a nod to the Dark Tower story itself, being an extension of the universe inside Stephen King’s brain. The stage is set for this epic to finally come from the pages to life over a series of movies and TV seasons. Idris Elba is perfect as the man who has not forgotten the face of his father, Tom Taylor keeps up excellently with a very established cast, and Matthew McConaughey was alright, alright, alright. It would have been interesting to see this film push the classification rating a bit higher, but this is Sony so that was never going to happen.
THE DARK TOWER is in cinemas now.
What did you think? Stick to the source material or can’t wait for more Gunslinging action? Let us know in the comments below or Facebook.