Director – Nikolaj Arcel


Eleven year old Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) continues to have premonitions of weird characters and an alternative universe that he expresses through his artwork. Jake’s psychologist has convinced his mother that these are just reactions being caused by the unfortunate timing of his father’s death a year ago. Jake arrives home one day to new psychologist who he recognises as villains from his dreams and immediately runs with them chasing after him. Jake encounters a building from his dreams and wanders to it. There he finds a portal that teleports him to another dimension called Mid-World. Jake immediately encounters a character from his dreams Roland (Idris Elba) the last gunslinger who is an eternal fight with Walter (Matthew Mcchonaughey) also known as the Man in Black. Walter is guilty of kidnapping clairvoyant children and trying to destroy the last tower, an imaginary object that holds the universe at bay. Jake and Roland team up to try to stop Walter and save both of their realms.

Nose Candy

“I don’t kill with my gun he who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father.  I kill with my heart”

“I hope you don’t mind me making myself at home where I come from they don’t have chicken”

“He saved my life and he doesn’t even like me that much”

“I will kill him for the both of us”

“My mom died so that you could have your revenge”

“Death always wins that is the deal”

Style Points

  • First Jake Premonition with him being trapped
  • Rooftop chase scene
  • Jake being attacked by killer house portal
  • Blur focus on water canteen in desert
  • Village ambush scene
  • Roland getting knocked out of second story window then henchman getting hit by bus

Role Play

I really enjoyed Tom Taylor’s performance. Even though he was a young man they didn’t wimp out his character he wasn’t naive and looked very strong holding his own next to two great actors.

Matthew Mcchonaughey came off way to hilarious for a villain. The accent and mannerisms just seemed strange. I guess he just wasn’t a conventional bad gut that made you loathe him especially for somebody trying put an end to the universe.

It was so odd to me seeing Idris Elba as a black cowboy dropped into the twenty-first century. His shootout scenes seemed so obsolete using his guns against todays artillery and Walter who had the unfair advantage of having super powers. Elba is an emotional actor and that was when he was at his best in this film. Such as when he was having the heart to heart with his father or consoling Jake after his mother died.

Money Shot

The final duke out with insane visuals for Roland’s ricocheted bullets and Walter manipulating glass and fire in the palm of his hands. As Walter gains the advantage Roland remembers the gunslinger moral code that was taught to him by his father. Roland regains consciousness and connects two bullets on to each other to blast Walter finally killing him and their eternal duel.

Final Touch

Stephen King is a legend and The Dark Tower lives up to his usual science fiction twisted reality brilliance and at the end I’m not sure what I just witnessed or how to process it. There were some very cool special effects throughout. For me this project maneuvered through too many categories from science fiction to drama to western to futuristic. Then just when I started getting into it, it ended to soon for my liking. This was also not the best use for big name actors like Idris Elba and Matthew Mcchonaughey though it never hurts to have them. Hopefully this could serve as a coming out party for Tom Taylor who I thought shined in his role. The Dark Tower reminded me of one of those specials they pull kids out of class and force them to watch after they have experienced a tragedy (maybe that was just me.) Jake who was having difficulties dealing with the death of his dad became a hero and there was a feel good story of the relationship between him and Roland who turned out to be a good father figure for him. The Dark Tower is cool to look at and is composed of numerous styles and genres, but still it doesn’t really know what it stands for.

– Caleb Harris

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