Movie Review: The Dark Tower

Originally, I wanted to give this movie 4 stars out of 5, but then I thought about the film a little more, as a whole. The entire premise of the film is that if the Tower falls, the world will end ... and that's pretty much all they tell you about it. However, the film is fairly entertaining, and I still overall enjoyed it.

Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) has recurring dreams starring a Gunslinger (Idris Elba), an evil villain (Matthew McConaughey), and a different world than Earth. His mom dismisses it as just an overactive imagination, but when he starts to get into fights at school, she decides to send him to a "therapy weekend" of sorts. When the therapists arrive to collect him, Jake realizes they are from the other world, and he escapes. Eventually, he finds a portal to that other world and realizes that all of the people from his dreams are real - including the Man in Black (McConaughey), who wants to find a child to bring down the Tower and end civilization as they know it.

You don't often find McConaughey playing villain roles, but he was great here, if a bit over-the-top. I also liked Elba in his role as the Gunslinger, a man sworn to protect his world, and Tom Taylor in the lead role. Dennis Haysbert also has a small role here, as Elba's father (which I didn't think was really possible, but apparently Haysbert is 18 years older than him, so, sure ...), whom the Man in Black killed.

Yes, see this movie. It's nothing more than a summer popcorn film, but the special effects are great, and it has a nice and short runtime, as well. I haven't read any of The Dark Tower books by Stephen King, upon which this is based (and there are seven books), but what I did find interesting is that the movie often talked about Jake's "shine," i.e. his special psychic powers; in the movie version of another of King's books, The Shining, the little boy in that film also has "the shine," because he sees things that others cannot. CinemaBlend mentions this, actually, and says that in The Dark Tower series, it's called "The Touch," so it appears that the filmmakers decided to connect the two movies.

Overall, even though the plot was a bit tenuous, I did enjoy this film, and I recommend it for moviegoers who like sci-fi.

The Dark Tower is out today, August 4th, and is rated PG-13 with a runtime of 95 minutes. 3.5 stars out of 5.

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