The first reviews for 'The Dark Tower' are in and they're savage

Michele Moreno
August 4, 2017

Jake has odd dreams and draws prophetic pictures because he has "the shine" about him - sound familiar? Walter, meanwhile, aims to destroy the titular Dark Tower, which affords all worlds within its sphere protection, and soon takes notice of Jake, who may well help him further his goal. After being transported to another world, Jake's only chance of survival turns out to be the Gunslinger from his dreams, Roland Deschain. The TV entry will be based on Wizard in Glass, the fourth book in The Dark Tower series.

In 2007, the team behind Lost, including J.J. Abrams, Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, optioned the book series.

As the long-awaited feature film take on The Dark Tower is poised to open at the box office, the potential TV series is taking a big step forward. It's a film that feels rushed and plodding, sometimes within the same scene. Director Nikolaj Arcel and co-writer Anders Thomas Jensen are now writing the script, though depending on the reception of the film, that could change before long. Having said that, it does sound as if the movie is slightly more enjoyable (or less bad, depending on your point of view) than what we initially feared. Normally, this type of character would have things explained to him as the movie unfolded. Imagine TV's Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are on board as executive producers. So The Dark Tower is a version of one of these lived-over lives, which means events may be different than those experienced by Roland in the book.

King, probably the first name in popular-horror writing, released seven-plus (don't ask - it, too, is confusing) books over the course of more than two decades.

During a recent interview with IndieWire, director Nikolaj Arcel (who's also helping with the series) revealed that the TV series will adhere closely to King's novels. "He wrote me this expression that's in the novels about 'forgetting the face of your father, ' and he actually ended the email by saying, 'you didn't forget the face of your father.'" We'll see what audiences think, when the film hits theaters later this week.

It's hard to fault Elba or McConaughey for their performances. Good and evil ultimately collide in an ultimate battle in which only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black. The Dark Tower is an origin story, but it picks up where the last novel ends. While there is one particular instance in which Roland's money shot pays off, the shootout scenes are reminiscent of Timur Bekmambetov's Wanted, but with notably less style. The Dark Tower saga is weird and complicated, after all, so it would make sense that condensing it into a movie would also be weird and complicated.

You don't need to be familiar with the source material to enjoy "The Dark Tower". With a new story, condensed mythology, underdeveloped characters, and a fairly simplistic Hero's Journey arc - save the Tower, save the world - The Dark Tower doesn't actively improve upon the source material and fans of King's universe will likely find it lacking.

"The Dark Tower" was a project that took nearly a decade to finally make its screen debut. Nikolaj has directed films like "Truth About Men", "King's Game" and "A Royal Affair".

The Dark Tower starts playing in US theaters Thursday August 3.

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