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Blu-ray review: KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD
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THE DARK TOWER

movie review by David Blackwell

 

95 minutes, Rated PG-13

STUDIO: Columbia Pictures/ MRC/ Imagine Entertainment/ Weed Road

Theatrical RELEASE DATE: 8-4-2017

THE DARK TOWER is a sleek action adventure sci-fi fantasy film that suffers from the lack of major character development and not enough world building.  It is enjoyable and the actors do as much as they can with the material given.   Matteh McConaughey chews on the scenery and provides menace as Walter aka the Man in Black while one of the other major flaws of the plot is not developing Roland’s backstory enough which remains the fault of the script and director Nikolaj Arcel wanting to make it a 95 minute movie.  THE DARK TOWER serves as a sequel/ introduction to the universe of THE DARK TOWER universe.  The attempts to adapt to the book series written by Stephen King has been through a ten year old development hell process as J.J. Abrams briefly dabbled into wanting to do it to Ron Howard’s ambitious attempt at doing was thrown to the curb by Universal Pictures due to budgetary concerns.   I will always wonder if Ron Howard’s version starring Javier Bardem would have been better than what finally made it to the screen under Sony since many other summer box office failures like ALIEN: COVENANT and KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD offer more expansive world building than THE DARK TOWER ever does.    Many diehard fans of the Stephen King series will mark this movie as returned to sender because they wanted something that adapted the books and not a movie that uses elements of the series and being labeled as a so-called sequel to the book series (as a way to acknowledge this movie isn’t adapting the books).

 

11 year old Jake Chambers of New York City has visions about the conflict between Roland (Idris Elba) and the Man in Black.  His visions and posting a drawing in one of his visions leads him to an abandoned house (after he feels two fake skins who want to take him to a psychiatric facility in upstate New York).  He finds a gateway to Mid-World where he meets Roland and Roland takes him to a village to decipher Jake’s visions because Roland is out for revenge for Walter aka the Man in black for killing his father several years ago in the last great battle between the Gunslingers and Walter.  Walter is collecting children because he is looking for a kid with the right amount of psychic energy (aka shine) to attack the Dark Tower which protects all universes from the all of the demons that want to invade.  Walter has his legion of demon followers with fake skins.   Jake and Roland will make the journey back to Jake’s home in a quest to stop the Man in Black

 

The above synopsis does sound like it could be a great movie, but it falls into the usual Hollywood story traps of rushing the story to the finish without focusing on character development that drives the story and build bonds between characters along with necessary world building.  All the character development is thin and the scriptwriters only provide anough to drive the story without providing a movie you want to visit over and over again.  THE DARK TOWER may be a good one time view for some while others may find it not to have enough substance and diehard fans of series hating it.

 

This review is 8-15-2017 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com

 

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