August 04, 2017

R: August 4th, 2017 | R: 93 minutes | R: PG-13

Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, at first, you might be like, 'sign me up' but maybe you need to take a second look at the trailer before you do so. The movie has too much hype, and for this reason it is raising everyones standards. This isn't a good thing. With high exceptions comes high responsibilities with the film makers.

Ok, so this movie isn't all bad. It has some interesting aspects that help the movie carry itself into your imagination. The movie wants you to fill in some blanks, this way you can create your own thoughts on the movie. This became the interesting idea, because maybe you thought something different than the person who you came with thought.

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Rating: 3 out of 5

Billy Billy (Editor) - Billy has seen many movies over the years. He enjoys comedies and anything action, including the summer blockbuster movies. You can follow Billy on Twitter here.
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A dark, epic fantasy film with source material from Stephen King has absolutely no business being this bland. I have personally never read the series of books in which director Nikolaj Arcel based his film on; but I refuse to believe that King's "magnum opus," as he himself describes it, is as unimaginative as co-writer Akiva Goldsman's screenplay lets on. THE DARK TOWER is a frustrating and disappointing film with two great leads and a muddled plot.

If there is something redeemable about this film, that would be the casting choice of Idris Elba, who excels at the lead role of Roland 'The Gunslinger' Deschain, a peacekeeper tasked with defending the titular tower from Walter. Elba brings badass coolness, especially during the action scenes, and some funny moments to the film, but he lacks proper backstory as to why he protects the tower or why he is the only one able to resist the darkness. Matthew McConaughey plays Walter, also known as The Man in Black, a dark force whose reasons to exist are to attack the tower and spread evilness through over-the-top commands like "stop breathing," but the film never really explains the motives for his actions other than inexplicably pointing him to be the bad guy, or why he tries to attack the Dark Tower the way he does, which is revealed early in the film.

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Rating: 1.5 out of 5

Gerardo Gerardo (Contributor) is a film student living in Philadelphia. He usually prefers independent and classic films, but he will watch anything in theaters.
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Stephen King adaptations are largely hit or miss. A vast majority of these adaptations have failed to captivate audiences, but those that do succeed have become cultural classics that are considered hallmarks of the movie industry such as Carrie, The Shining, and The Shawshank Redemption. The first of two major King inspired movies this year, does The Dark Tower fade into obscurity like most live action versions of his novels or does it have the staying power to inspire for generations?

At the center of the universe lies a mythical tower that protects all worlds from being consumed by darkness. Yet the safety provided by the tower is under attack as a warlock sets out to destroy it. A young boy facing premonitions of this battle finds himself in much deeper than he expected when he attempts to find a man from his visions – a “gunslinger”. Together, they must work together to save all life as we know it.

The world envisioned by Stephen King is truly captivating and imaginative. The Dark Tower presents a compelling fantasy environment that both feels new and mysterious. This world, however, takes a backseat to a rather lackluster young adult plot. The Dark Tower suffers by following the formula and popularity from recent young adult franchises such as The Hunger Games and Divergent. Almost exclusively focusing on the struggles of an adolescent boy, The Dark Tower is a major departure from the source material and the marketing of the film.

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Rating: 2 out of 5

Johnny Johnny (Senior Contributor) was born and raised in San Diego. He's been a fan of films the majority of his life. He enjoys the feeling it invokes and the power it has to take you to another place.
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The Dark Tower is the story of Jake Chambers (played by Tom Taylor), a young boy who has terrifyingly realistic dreams of a Dark Tower, a Man in Black (played by Matthew McConaughey) and the last Gunslinger (played by Idris Elba). But the problem is everyone thinks he is crazy, that is until the Man in Black attempts to kidnap young Jake. This causes Jake to enter the universe of The Dark Tower, and with assistance from the last Gunslinger, they attempt to stop the Man in Black from destroying the only thing holding the universes together; The Dark Tower.

This Stephen King adaptation is directed by Nikolaj Arcel (who directed A Royal Affair and Island of Lost Souls) and I know this is definitely against what most critics would say, but I really enjoyed The Dark Tower. It had a very fun and emursive world, with a Steven Spielberg/J.J. Abrams style vibe. This film was shot very well and had some very kick-butt action sequences. At times this action packed, ninety five minute thrill ride did get over the top, but it worked for what it was going for. I did feel that it was a little overly condensed into such a short runtime and it could have used more screen time to build the universe, and explain the plot more clearly.

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Rating: 3 out of 5

Cabell Cabell (Contributor) is a filmmaker from Tampa, Florida. He will watch just about any film but when he's not reviewing the latest hits he spends time directing films of his own.
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