So, I went to see this movie, with zero expectations. I knew from the previews I had seen that it was not any sort of attempt to faithfully recreate any part of any of the Dark Tower books. So I wasn’t worried about comparing it to the book, I fully intended to take it on its own merit as its own story.
It had moments. Not as many as I would like, but some.
The best part of the movie was the relationship between Roland and Jake. I thought that fairly closely approximated the gradual warming of the relationship that happened in the book. And I thought it worked fairly well on its own. I thought Tom Taylor did a fine job as young Jake.
Some of the cinematography was brilliant. Some of it was not.
The music and sound editing wasn’t anything to write home about. But it wasn’t bad, just sort of there.
It seems more and more movies these days are ramping up the violence to insane levels, while simultaneously doing their best to portray that very few people actually get hurt. Especially innocent bystanders. It used to be that movies would have insanely high body counts of minions and bystanders, but I think more significant characters died in The Dark Tower than bystanders. I find this bothersome, because it suggests that violence isn’t really that dangerous.
Matthew McConaughey was a pretty significant disappointment. He came off more as petulant than as menacing. And his motives were never remotely explored. Surely when the universe is consumed by demons, he expects something out of it. No idea what that could be.
Idris Elba did the best he could with what he had to work with. He has an excellent ability to smolder, and a surprisingly gentle touch at times. I liked him.
I did not much care for the story itself. It felt both contrived and formulaic. Important things happen without any explanation or follow-up. Very little context is given for the events that happen, and when there is some context, it felt very deux ex machina.
It was an enjoyable evening of eating popcorn and getting out of the heat. But it should have been so much more.