I’m not sure what I thought of The Dark Tower. I’ve read all the books and all the comics and already knew that they weren’t going to follow the chronological order of the books so I was prepared for failure in advance…..and yet I’m still disappointed by their choices. They just didn’t have the cahonas to go all LOTR and make the films as per the books (do people never learn).
Yes, I can understand that by taking the young lad Jake Chamber’s part of the story they could make it appeal to a younger audience and also keep it a bit more real and on our earth (to save costs I guess) and yes, I can see why they gave Walter more recognisable powers but you miss all the good Roland back story and the more interesting stuff that happens in Roland’s mid-world. By cutting corners and making it more child friendly you actually lose a lot of the realism and grittiness that is the world of the Gunslinger.
Although they cocked-up with the story choice they did at least get Idris Elba right. He makes a fine Gunslinger as he has the right grizzled look and is suitably cool when using his guns. Jake is also very good and matches how I thought of him in the books. Matthew McConaughey is good but was not able to portray that air of hidden evilness I was hoping for, but I suppose he was limited by how they portrayed him.
Action is pretty good with the gun play being handled well and Mid-world did look fairly similar to the books. I did like the bit of Jake in the house though as that was the most accurate to me of how the book describes it.
All in all, a missed opportunity. I really hope that this version can be by-passed and another attempt made to at least follow the order of the books, perhaps sticking to a TV series would be better?
Verdict: An admirable attempt to bring some of the Dark Tower magic to life. However, playing with the storyline and not making it adult enough lessened its appeal.