Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Dark Tower review

The Dark Tower is nowhere near as bad as other film critics say it is. The film is based on Stephen King's eight novels of the same name. It mixes a bunch of genres together. Fantasy. Science Fiction. Westerns. As this  is quite creative, it is also one of the problems with the movie.

The movie opens with a written statement that a Dark Tower keeps the forces of darkness from entering the universe and that a mind of a child can destroy it. Walter Padick aka The Man in Black wants to bring the darkness into the universe.  He is played by a tongue in cheek Matthew McConaughey. He gleefully wonders around the universe getting little girls to learn hate, kill children in a mind machine to see if they can bring down the tower, torture and kill people. He just twitches his nose and magic happens. Um... no that nose twitching is Bewitched.  But he might as well do that. He just says things like, "Stop breathing" and the victim does. It's so effortless that it comes off somewhat ludicrous and McConaughey knows it. He's having fun. It kind of begs the question. Padick is supposed to be a sorcerer.   Yet, he's not the devil and according to the movie he's worse. So can he be killed?

During Padick's search for the child who can bring down the tower, a New York kid named Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) is having visions of The Gunslinger and the Dark Tower. He also has the "shine" which allows him to send telepathic messages to Jack Nicholson about "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." Okay, that stuff about Jack Nicholson is not in this movie but is in "The Shining."    The kid does have the "shine."  Anyway, if you can't see the role that Jake is going to play in this movie than you haven't ween any movies based on young adult novels in the last  five years. I mean it's not like the kid is going to get run over by bus five minutes into the movie.

Idris Elba is Roland Deschain aka The Gunslinger, the last of his kind. . He's uses magical six shooters which I think I heard somebody say were made from Arthur's sword, Excalibur?!  Here's a problem. The filmmakers do a terrible job of explaining this. Anyway, he's mad at Padick because he killed his father. And I think he's supposed to protect the Tower. The conflict is that Dechain wants revenge rather than keeping the universe safe. Hold on. Wouldn't killing Padick keep the universe safe? So, why do some aliens give him the guilt trip for trying to seek revenge on  Padick?

Anyway, Jake can also see aliens in New York because he supported Trump and thinks all Mexicans are bad hombres. Er... sorry about that. He can see aliens, the extraterrestrial type. Jake finds a building where he thinks The Gunslinger is at and finds a portal. He turns it on and goes through it and finds himeself on another world called Mid-World. He runs into the Gunslinger and asks him if there is going to be a Pacific Rim sequel. Yes, the sequel stuff aint' true. Anyway, Deschain figures the kid must be important to the plot and must protect him.

There are many problems with this movie. First, if you are going to mash together fantasy, science fiction and Westerns, you had better explain how somethings in your story work. I mean it seems Deschain has super abilities yet he can be killed. Padick's magic doesn't work on Deschain.  How?  And how do magic guns use real world bullets? I  mean wouldn't you need magic bullets to kill a supernatural guy like Padick? And who is Padick? If he's worse than the devil, how can he be killed? And why do almost all of the aliens look like humans? I get it that some aliens on earth use disguises. But why do the aliens look like people on Mid-World?

Director Nikolaj Arcel is skillful in delivering the dystopian visuals of Mid-World and action. The film is not boring. But as i stated there needed to be more focus on the world that the movie is about by showing us how things came to be. The kid with the shining er.. shine is not all that interesting. But Deschain's journey is. I mean the movie talks about killing with the heart, well where did Deschain get that from? Is it like using the Force?   Oh yeah before I forget.  Show the monsters.  When monsters attack, don't do it night or at least light the scene better.

If you are at the theater and can't decide on what film to see, please choose Dunkirk or Atomic Blonde. The Dark Tower should be last on your list. The grade is B minus.

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