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The Dark Tower books were apparently inspired by King's love of JRR Tolkien and spaghetti westerns, which explains the puzzling collision of genres.
His books usually bristle with good ideas, too many sometimes, and in Arcel's car crash of a film we get teasing glimpses of what might have been.
After reaching 'Mid-World' by means uninteresting and scientifically half-baked, he encounters Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), the last of a wandering breed of cowboy knights called the 'Gunslingers'.
He is the mortal foe of Walter Padick (Matthew Mc Conaughey), the sorcerer from Jake's dreams.
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Padick calls himself the Man in Black (Johnny Cash's estate should sue) and uses the minds of clairvoyant children to bombard the Dark Tower with psychic beams (this will not make any more sense when you watch it).
His work, which stretches back to The West Wing and includes such wordy films as Moneyball, Steve Jobs and The Social Network, always involves hectic, erudite conversations between fiercely competing clever-clogs, pissing contests over who is the more...
Only Idris Elba briefly steadies this sinking ship, giving gravitas and coherence to a character who doesn't always make sense.
He's an unlucky actor in film terms, who often seems so much better than the movies he ends up in. Detroit (John Boyega, Will Poulter, John Krasinski, Anthony Mackie); Logan Lucky (Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Riley Keough, Daniel Craig); Terminator 2: 3D (Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick, Edward Furlong).
The Dark Tower condenses various parts of King's saga into a quasi-manageable story that jumps around like popcorn in a microwave and lacks a unifying focus.
In an era where two-hour films are the norm, Dark Tower's 95-minute length is suspicious and suggests radical post-production cuts. In the earliest and most coherent part of the film, New York teenager Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) struggles at home and at school.
Spoiled by their upbringing and unaware of what wildlife really is, four animals from the New York Central Zoo escape, unwittingly assisted by four absconding penguins, and find themselves in Madagascar.