WARNING: The following review contains spoilers, I’m telling you now so you don’t pretend to be outraged later.
Whenever a movie withholds their reviews until the day of the release, that’s the #1 sign the movie is going to be terrible. On cue, The Dark Tower didn’t have anything on Rotten Tomatoes until yesterday and it’s currently sitting at 19%. So I went into this film with low expectations. After watching it…it wasn’t that bad. It’s actually decent, flawed, but decent. So I knew I had to put on my renegade cap and go against the grain of Rotten Tomatoes once again to defend a film against harsh reviews. Now I know Hollywood is upset at RT because of recent bad reviews for films like The House, The Emoji Movie, and Baywatch. To that I say, your movies were shit and you should stop making crap expecting the masses to pay for it. But this is about The Dark Tower and why it’s not as bad as advertised.
The Dark Tower is a based on a series of books from writer Stephen King. The film begins in the Mid-World, parallel dimension to Earth. A massive structure called the Dark Tower protects all dimensions from falling into the chaos of the darkness where monsters and evil run amok. An evil sorcerer named Walter (Matthew McConaughey) aka the Man in Black, wants to bring down the tower using the minds of children as a weapon. When an 11-year-old boy named Jake stumbles across the dimension, The Man in Black tries to find the kid and use him to doom all the worlds, but an old adversary known as The Gunslinger (Idris Elba) stands as the only man who can resist his powerful magic and save the universe from destruction.
The thing that caught my eye which is the biggest complaint about the film is that the runtime is barely 90 minutes long. If you are trying to set up a new film franchise you gotta have more time to work with than 90 minutes. If you have not read the books, you need to be set up to understand this universe and the weakest part of the movie is the first act. They rushed into the story and gave a half ass explanation about what is going on and how it works. The story focuses on the kid and skims through some important details which I know will anger fans of the book. I just look at this film and think if you only put more time in the first act, you would have a better product because, after the first 30 minutes, the film is pretty good.
Usually, it’s the last act that loses steam for a film, but here I was legitimately surprised by how much I liked it once it finally found it’s footing. The two leads McConaughey and Elba are definitely underused since the focus is on the child, but they are great when they are on screen. McConaughey chews the scenery, his presence keeps your interest throughout the film while Idris Elba who plays the Gunslinger, a fish out of water badass that delivers a few laughs along with some really good-looking action scenes. The problem present here can be chalked up to production and promotion. Many were excited about the live-action adaptation of this popular series, but push back in production signaled something wasn’t quite right and in the later stages, there wasn’t much hype going into the release. When you look at the final product, you have a barebones version of the book which does enough to entertain audiences but won’t leave a lasting impression to have them waiting for more.
The Dark Tower suffers from not having enough time to tell the story that was needed. Missed opportunity is what you will hear repeated by critics and fans and they are correct. However, don’t let the RT score fool you, the film isn’t as bad as advertised, but it is a disappointment for those who have been waiting years to see this story told on the big screen.
OFFICIAL RATING: **
Did you know this movie only cost 10 million more than The Emoji Movie? How? Who is budgeting these films? Did The Emoji Movie spend all their money on their stars’ drug habit? Money doesn’t equal quality folks.
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