The Dark Tower stars Idris Elba (Thor, The Avengers) as Roland, the last Gunslinger, and Matthew McConaughey (How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, We Are Marshall) as Walter AKA “The Man in Black”. The story begins with young protagonist Jake (Tom Taylor) who has a bad home life and constantly dreams of a place that no one believes exists. But when Jake gets a visit from the Man in Black and runs away from home, he finds himself in another realm and confronting the reality of his nightmares. He meets Roland, who he recognizes and tries to convince him to follow his duty as a Gunslinger to protect The Dark Tower, a mystical thing that holds the universe together. Roland, who has been in a battle with Walter over the Tower for many years has trouble accepting this responsibility.
IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: C-)
This is one of those movies where I feel like the ideas behind it were solid, but the script and some of the acting choices really fell flat. While Matthew McConaughey certainly looked the part of the villain, his delivery just wasn’t there. He’s been in several too many rom-coms to be in a film like this, and quite frankly he just doesn’t have the versatility required. Adversely, while I think Idris Elba is a great actor, it seems like the script just didn’t allow for him to utilize enough of his character, which was disappointing. Tom Taylor who plays Jake did quite well, considering his very limited work experience. There were some cool lines, which seem to be pulled directly from the source material, Stephen King’s book series of the same name. There wasn’t very much time spent on world building, and what we did get seemed unimportant. The costumes were cool, but not spectacular, pretty much like everything else in this film.
IS IT OKAY FOR YOUR KIDS?
The Dark Tower is rated PG-13 for thematic sequences of gun violence and action. I probably say this movie is appropriate for ages 10-12 and up. It has some disturbing scenes where people wear faces that aren’t their own, and children are sucked of their life-force. There is fighting and minimal blood, but not a ridiculous amount. There are a few moderate profanities (s-words, etc).
ANY WORTHWHILE MESSAGES?
Family bonds can endure tragedy and hardship. Everyone has to find their path and happiness, and sometimes it isn’t what you thought it would be.
Moriya Porter is a creative writing student in Orem, Utah. You can find her thoughts and reviews on movies and media at moriyasmediamind.blogspot.com
For an even better Matthew McConaughey film, check out the science/religion drama Contact!