The Dark Tower series tells the story of Roland Deschain, Mid-World's last gunslinger, who is traveling southeast across Mid-World's post-apocalyptic landscape, searching for the powerful but elusive magical edifice known as The Dark Tower.
I always have a hard time describing King's series without sounding completely bonkers.
In the movie, which is directed by A Royal Affair helmer Nikolaj Arcel, Idris Elba portrays the character of Roland Deschain aka the Gunslinger. Stephen King's The Dark Tower, the ambitious and expansive story from one of the world's most celebrated authors, makes its launch to the big screen. When Jake realizes that these dreams are actually visions, he journeys across dimensions to find the Gunslinger and help him protect the eponymous Dark Tower, which lies at the center of the universe and keeps all of reality safe from the demons that lurk beyond.
As previously reported, the series itself won't hinge on the feature film, but will contain a bit of overlap as it will adapt the fourth book in the series, Wizard and Glass, which was primarily a prequel novel about the origins of Roland.
"The Dark Tower", Stephen King's eight-volume series about a futuristic gunslinger, a time-traveling teenager named Jake and the personification of death - named Walter - is the kind of concoction that never would have made it to print without King's track record of bestsellers-cum-Hollywood-hits like "The Shining", "Carrie" and "Firestarter".
King has been critical of Stanley Kubrick's 1980 film compared to other adaptations of his work, which is somewhat understandable given the liberties it takes with his novel about a recovering alcoholic writer held up in a hotel with his family. Even when the movie succeeds at a scene of exposition of myth-building, the next scene rushes viewers down another wormhole of overly-complicated lore. He says Elba's performance "stands out" but, "the movie around him is sadly pointless, weirdly forgettable despite a slipstream story mashing fantasy and science-fiction and Brooklyn".
Are you excited to see the film or are you concerned by these reports? In other words: The film's ka-tet was screwed from the moment the producers decided how they wanted it to look. We'll know by the end of this weekend.
To be fair, this August boasts some of the more intriguing films of the summer, like Steven Soderbergh's triumphant return ("Logan Lucky") and Kathryn Bigelow's furious race-riots docudrama ("Detroit"). These guys may not be at odds like their Dark Tower characters, but they really need to brush up on their knowledge of one another's personal lives.
Many more reviews will come in before the final Rotten Tomatoes score for The Dark Tower is determined, but a start this poor is nearly always the kiss of death in terms of critical consensus. Test audiences found it too confusing. The film succeeds as an introduction to some of the concepts and themes of the series, but ultimately getscut short and barely grazes upon numerous novels' complex themes.