"A Giant Mess"
What You Need To Know:
THE DARK TOWER takes the premise of a sprawling series and tries to condense it into 95-minutes. At times, the story feels too simplistic; while other times, the movie’s convoluted by unexplained plot elements. THE DARK TOWER has some positive moral values in it with a message against vengeance and to protect the innocent, but most of its storyline is pagan, with magical, mystical components. MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for THE DARK TOWER’s mixed worldview, which is combined with some intense action violence and brief foul language.
(PaPa, OO, B, LL, VV, A, M) Strong pagan, occult worldview guides the rules and laws of the universe, with magic, mysticism, psychics, and seers, with some light moral values against evil and revenge, and supporting protecting the innocent; seven obscenities (including two “s” words), two strong profanities and two light profanities; moderate action violence that includes a shootout between protagonist and monsters that wear human skin, scary creatures, a man is impaled by a creature’s tale in the shoulder and a piece of glass in the hand, people are told to stop breathing by powerful sorcerer, people are burnt to dust off screen, child punches another child; no sexual content; no nudity; a glass of wine is seen on a counter; no smoking or drug use; and kidnapping by villain.
THE DARK TOWER is an adaptation of the popular Stephen King science fiction series about a fight between good evil in another dimensional world that threatens the existence of the universe.
Jake Chambers is a young boy in New York City who frequently has vivid nightmares about another world, and some mysterious characters in that world. Jake dreams of a “Man in Black” in another world who’s kidnapping children from Earth to harness the power of their minds. He also dreams of a warrior, a Gunslinger, who is sworn to fight this man in black. Jake’s mother and her boyfriend believe Jakes is troubled and needs professional help. So, when they try to send Jake to a clinic over the weekend, Jake runs away, thinking (and rightly so) that he’s being kidnapped by the man in black.
Through images in his dreams, Jake is led to an abandoned house in New York City. The house has a portal that Jake walks through, which takes him to Mid-World. In Mid-World, Jake finds the Gunslinger in his dreams, whose name is Roland (Idris Elba). Roland is on a vengeance quest to kill “The Man in Black” aka Walter (Matthew McConaughey), who killed Roland’s father.
Roland explains to Jake that Mid-World is another dimension among many dimensions connected by a “Dark Tower” that runs through the center of all the dimensions. The Dark Tower protects the universe. Outside the protection of the Dark Tower is pure darkness and evil, which seeks to destroy everything. Roland explains that Walter is a sorcerer who wants to destroy the tower and let all the darkness inside everywhere. He can do this by using the minds of children, and Jake may be the child with the most powerful mind of all. However, Roland explains he has no desire to protect the Tower and save the universe. All he wants is revenge for his father.
So, the question becomes: Can Jake convince Roland to stop Walter from destroying the universe?
THE DARK TOWER takes the premise of a sprawling book series and tries to condense it into a 95 minute movie. At times, the story feels too simplistic; while other times, the movie is convoluted by plot elements that aren’t explained, or nods to the novels that don’t make any sense to viewers who never read them. It’s hard to understand a fictional universe that’s not explained well, and it’s harder to care about a universe, or the characters in it, if you don’t understand them. Add to this the fact that even the ADR (Automated Dialogue Replacement) was noticeable, the music was over the top, and Matthew McConaughey came off as cheesy, and most viewers will find THE DARK TOWER to be a disappointment. The only saving grave to the movie is a very cool action sequence involving the Gunslinger, and Idris Elba’s respectable performance.
While THE DARK TOWER has some positive moral values in it, the majority of its storyline is pagan, with magical and mystic components. There is a message against vengeance, and for protecting the innocent from evil.
All in all, therefore, MOVIEGUIDE® advises strong or extreme caution for THE DARK TOWER’s mixed worldview, which is combined with some intense action violence and brief foul language.