Dark Tower Movie Review
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Dark Tower Movie Review

The Dark Tower is an adaptation of the popular book series written by Stephen King. The movie, directed by Nikolaj Arcel, has been highly anticipated by both fans of the books and general audiences alike. However, the film received mixed reviews upon its release in August of 2017.

The story follows a young boy named Jake Chambers who discovers a portal to another world where he meets Roland Deschain, a gunslinger on a mission to save his world from destruction. Together they embark on a journey to the Dark Tower, a structure that holds the key to saving all worlds.

With Idris Elba playing the role of Roland and Matthew McConaughey as his nemesis Walter Padick, The Dark Tower promised to be an exciting adventure filled with action and suspense. But did it live up to expectations?

Plot Summary

The Dark Tower is a 2017 science fiction film directed by Nikolaj Arcel, based on Stephen King’s book series of the same name.

The film follows the journey of Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor), an eleven-year-old boy with psychic abilities who discovers a parallel universe called Mid-World. There he meets Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), the last gunslinger who is on a quest to save the tower, a structure that holds all worlds together from being destroyed by the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey).

The plot of The Dark Tower revolves around themes of good versus evil, redemption, and sacrifice.

The film also employs symbolism throughout its narrative, most notably in the form of the tower itself which represents order and balance in the universe. Additionally, the gunslingers’ revolvers symbolize their dedication to justice and their willingness to fight for what is right.

Overall, The Dark Tower delivers an action-packed adventure that will appeal to fans of Stephen King’s works but falls short in fully exploring its complex themes and characters.

Character Analysis

The characters in ‘The Dark Tower’ are a mixed bag. Idris Elba’s portrayal of Roland Deschain, the last Gunslinger, is strong and nuanced. He brings depth to the character and makes him relatable.

However, Matthew McConaughey’s Man in Black falls flat. His performance is one-dimensional, and he lacks the necessary charisma to make the character compelling.

The relationship dynamics between Roland and Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) are the highlight of the film. Their bond is central to the story, and their interactions are emotional and authentic. The audience can feel their connection grow stronger as they journey together towards their goal.

Unfortunately, other relationships in the film fall short. The romantic subplot involving Roland and Tirana (Abbey Lee) feels forced and underdeveloped.

Overall, while some characters stand out, others fail to deliver due to weak performances or underwritten roles. As for character motivations, they are often unclear or inconsistent throughout the film, leaving the audience feeling disconnected from the story at times.

Acting Performances

The acting performances in ‘The Dark Tower’ were not quite up to par with the film’s high expectations. While there were standout moments that showcased the talent of some of the actors, overall, the chemistry between them felt lacking.

Idris Elba, who played Roland Deschain, gave a solid performance as the stoic and determined gunslinger. However, his chemistry with co-star Matthew McConaughey’s Walter Padick fell short, despite their characters being mortal enemies. There were moments where their scenes together lacked the tension and intensity that should have been present. Additionally, child actor Tom Taylor’s portrayal of Jake Chambers was serviceable but lacked depth, leaving audiences feeling uninvested in his character’s journey.

Overall, while there were glimpses of great acting throughout ‘The Dark Tower’, it ultimately fell short due to a lack of chemistry between its cast members.

Despite some shortcomings in the acting department, there were still standout moments that deserve recognition. Jackie Earle Haley’s brief appearance as Sayre was chilling and memorable, leaving a lasting impression on viewers. Additionally, Kathryn Winnick’s portrayal of Laurie Chambers added heart and emotion to an otherwise lackluster plotline involving Jake’s family life.

These standout performances added depth to the film and kept audiences engaged amidst some lackluster acting from other cast members.

Ultimately, while there were moments of brilliance in ‘The Dark Tower’, it failed to fully come together due to a lack of chemistry between actors.

Cinematography And Visual Effects

Cinematography and Visual Effects play a crucial role in creating a cinematic experience that is both visually stunning and immersive.

The Dark Tower movie, directed by Nikolaj Arcel, utilizes various lighting techniques to set the tone of each scene, whether it be the dark, ominous atmosphere of the Man in Black’s lair or the bright, hopeful surroundings of Roland’s world.

The use of lighting is particularly effective in highlighting the contrast between the two worlds and emphasizes the importance of their collision.

In addition to lighting techniques, CGI innovations are also incorporated into The Dark Tower movie to bring fantasy elements to life.

From magical portals to monstrous creatures, CGI plays a significant role in establishing the fantastical nature of Roland’s world.

While some may argue that an over-reliance on CGI can detract from the realism of a film, The Dark Tower strikes a good balance between practical effects and computer-generated imagery.

Overall, the cinematography and visual effects in this movie serve as strong pillars that support its storytelling and create an immersive experience for viewers.

A balanced approach towards practical effects and computer-generated imagery ensures a believable yet fantastical atmosphere throughout the film.

The use of lighting effectively highlights the stark contrast between Roland’s world and that of his enemies.

Overall Impression And Verdict

The cinematography and visual effects of ‘The Dark Tower’ are commendable, as they successfully bring to life the fantastical world of Stephen King’s novel. The film’s use of CGI is impressive, particularly with the depiction of the Gunslinger’s (Idris Elba) powers and the otherworldly creatures that inhabit Mid-World. The color grading also adds to the film’s distinct visual style, emphasizing the contrast between the dark and grimy streets of New York City and the desolate landscapes of Mid-World.

However, despite its technical achievements, ‘The Dark Tower’ falls short in terms of adapting King’s epic series. The film attempts to condense eight books’ worth of material into a single movie, resulting in an overly simplified plot that lacks depth and complexity. Moreover, key elements from the books are either changed or omitted entirely, such as Jake Chambers’ (Tom Taylor) psychic abilities and his relationship with Roland Deschain. As a result, many fans of the book series may find themselves disappointed with this adaptation.

Themes explored in ‘The Dark Tower’ include redemption, sacrifice, and fatherhood. These themes are prevalent throughout King’s novels but are not fully fleshed out in this film adaptation. The relationship between Roland and Jake is meant to be at the heart of the story; however, it feels rushed and underdeveloped due to time constraints. Additionally, there is little exploration into Roland’s past or his motivations beyond revenge against Walter (Matthew McConaughey).

Overall, while ‘The Dark Tower’ has its moments of excitement and spectacle, it ultimately fails to do justice to Stephen King’s beloved series.


‘The Dark Tower’ may appeal to those unfamiliar with Stephen King’s source material or who are simply looking for a mindless action flick. However, for fans of King’s epic series who have been waiting years for a faithful adaptation on screen, this movie will likely disappoint. While the film boasts impressive visual effects and cinematography, its lack of depth and accuracy to the books may leave audiences feeling unsatisfied.


The Dark Tower movie is an adaptation of Stephen King’s popular book series. The plot follows a young boy named Jake Chambers who discovers a portal to another dimension where he meets Roland Deschain, the last Gunslinger, and together they embark on a journey to the Dark Tower, which holds the key to saving their worlds from destruction.

The character analysis reveals that both Jake and Roland are complex characters with emotional depth and inner turmoil. The acting performances by Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey are commendable, but the overall execution falls short in terms of pacing and storytelling.

The cinematography and visual effects create an immersive experience for viewers, but it does not salvage the weak plot.

In conclusion, while die-hard fans of Stephen King’s work may find some enjoyment in this adaptation, the general audience will be disappointed by its lackluster execution. The Dark Tower movie fails to capture the essence of King’s novel and falls short in terms of pacing and storytelling.

Despite commendable acting performances by Elba and McConaughey, this film fails to live up to its potential as an epic fantasy adventure. Overall, it is not recommended for those seeking a satisfying cinematic experience.

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