The Dark Tower Idris Matthew

Movie review: ‘The Dark Tower’

Listen to Tim’s review of “The Dark Tower” on “The KQ Morning Show” with Tom Barnard and Phillip “The Philly Dawg” Wise.

“The Dark Tower” (PG-13)

Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey help build a solid foundation for the long-awaited big screen adaptation of “The Dark Tower,” author Stephen King’s sprawling magnum opus that is spread over eight novels. Surprisingly short at just over 90 minutes long, the film benefits largely from keeping the plot relatively simple, considering that this is the first of several more films and/or television series to tell the story (presuming this first film is lucrative enough to warrant it).

The Dark Tower despite its name, isn’t evil: it’s  a darkened, massive skyscraper located in the center of the universe that protects Earth and other planets within the realm from monsters hell-bent on destroying them. The tower can only be destroyed by the mind of a child, which is why a powerful sorcerer Walter O’Dim, aka “The Man in Black” (McConaughey), is pursuing Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) – a gifted young teen who has extraordinary psychic abilities – to carry out his plans to bring it down and wreak havoc on the universe. Standing between them is Roland Deschain, aka “The Gunslinger” (Idris Elba), who in addition to protecting Jake has an old score to settle with his nemesis.

“The Dark Tower” operates with the assumption that fans have already read the books, which explains why the film comes prepackaged with lingo only readers would understand. Fortunately, the terms aren’t too complicated, and some, like “The Shine” (Jake’s said psychic ability) are obviously tied into King’s other works (a la “The Shining”). With its short runtime, fans of the book are bound to be disappointed with by the lack of detail, but on a basic level, the film – a sci-fit/Western mashup – “The Dark Tower” works.

It’s hard to tell how “The Dark Tower” will build out from here, but so long as the charismatic principal actors remain attached, the series should at least have enough momentum to push forward to the next chapter.

Lammometer: 7 (out of 10)

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