The Dark Tower review: A bullet missed

Matthew McconaugheyReuters

Jake has odd dreams and draws prophetic pictures because he has "the shine" about him - sound familiar?

Tom Taylor's Jake and Dennis Haysberg's Steven Deschain are also set to return for the TV series, which would follow a younger Roland and his group as shown in Wizard in Glass, the fourth book in the Dark Tower series.

Jake's new acquaintance informs him that the visions are real, and that the Man in Black is out to destroy the Dark Tower, which is the only object keeping various dimensions from colliding.

Back in October, almost four months before The Dark Tower was originally expected to be released, the studio chose to hold a small number of blind screenings for audiences before VFX work on the film had been completed. Maybe that's too aggressive a metaphor, but after watching Nikolaj Arcel's "The Dark Tower" I left like I had just gotten off that ride.

Runtime: 1 hour, 35 minutes. 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.

"On a film with two studios and powerful producers, obviously there is much passionate creative debate on how to work certain ideas or beats", he said.

It's based on a series of novels by King, who, in juggling genres and influences, offers a magical quest amid post-apocalyptic ruin against a majestic western background. And McConaughey can play a complicated hero as well as anybody. You begin to hope that midway to Mid-World, McConaughey and Elba will just call time out and start acting out a new season of "True Detective" together. The two then go out to find the Dark Tower and also face The Man in Black. But, perhaps not any more.

"There are no gunslingers", the gun-slinging Roland answers him. 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.

Stephen King's The Dark Tower was originally an eight book series. "There's a point somewhere in the misshapen second act that an attentive viewer can feel all the parties involved giving up and resolving to get the rest of the movie over with as soon as possible".

TheWrap - The 95-minute culmination of years-long efforts to bring The Dark Tower to the big screen is a complete disaster, a limp, barely coherent shell of a movie.

The movie's director, Nik Arcel, spoke to IGN about finding the balance of appealing to both fans of The Dark Tower and newcomers, highlighting the importance of getting the tone and spirit of the source material right. On its own, The Dark Tower is a decent action-fantasy adventure that makes for an enjoyable experience for casual moviegoers. As first reported by Variety, the movie apparently performed so poorly in early test screenings that Sony execs were looking to replace director Nikolaj Arcel.

The Dark Tower starts playing in USA theaters Thursday August 3. We'll know by the end of this weekend.

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