Hackneyed hokum: Review of The Dark Tower by Rashid Irani | movie reviews | Hindustan Times
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Hackneyed hokum: Review of The Dark Tower by Rashid Irani

In a post-apocalyptic world, a gunslinger, a sorcerer and a young psychic must save their realm from extinction. It’s a hackneyed plot that never really hits its stride.

movie reviews Updated: Aug 24, 2017 16:04 IST
Rashid Irani
Idris Elba, as the jaded gunslinger, is forced to mouth lines such as, ‘I do not kill with my gun, I kill with my heart’. Painful to watch.
Idris Elba, as the jaded gunslinger, is forced to mouth lines such as, ‘I do not kill with my gun, I kill with my heart’. Painful to watch.
THE DARK TOWER
  • Direction: Nikolaj Arcel
  • Actors: Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey
  • Rating: 1.5 / 5

After languishing in development hell for years — filmmakers of the calibre of Ron Howard and JJ Abrams had evinced interest in the author Stephen King’s titular magnum opus — Danish director Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair) clinched the dream assignment.

Turns out, he was not an auspicious choice.

He attempts to pack as much of the eight-book series into as few minutes as possible, showing scant interest in character dynamics or narrative coherence.

The story wasn’t that gripping to begin with. Set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland known as Mid-World, a jaded gunslinger (Idris Elba), a fearsome sorcerer aka Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey) and a psychic young boy (newcomer Tom Taylor) embark on a search for the Dark Tower, which can supposedly save their realm from extinction.

The Dark Tower is set up as a prequel, to be followed by sequels and a TV spin-off. We are not thrilled.

The hackneyed good-versus-evil film never really hits its stride. Even the visual effects and action skirmishes lack panache.

The screenplay is dotted with such laugh-out-loud howlers as, “I do not kill with my gun, I kill with my heart” (this from the gunslinger).

Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey are serviceable, at best.

Reportedly planned as a franchise starter, The Dark Tower is to be followed by sequels and a TV spin-off. We are not thrilled.