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The Dark Tower (2017)

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The last Gunslinger: Roland Deschain, has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O'Dim, also known as the Man in Black, and determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower that holds the universe together. With the fate of the world at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle, as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.

Director:

Nikolaj Arcel

Writers:

Akiva Goldsman (screenplay by), Jeff Pinkner (screenplay by) | 3 more credits »
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445 ( 2)
4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Matthew McConaughey ... Walter
Idris Elba ... Roland
Tom Taylor ... Jake
Dennis Haysbert ... Steven
Ben Gavin ... Soldier
Claudia Kim ... Arra
Jackie Earle Haley ... Sayre
Fran Kranz ... Pimli
Abbey Lee ... Tirana
Katheryn Winnick ... Laurie
Nicholas Pauling ... Lon
Michael Barbieri ... Timmy
José Zúñiga ... Dr. Hotchkiss (as José Zuñiga)
Nicholas Hamilton ... Lucas Hanson
Inge Beckmann ... Teacher
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Storyline

11-year-old Jake Chambers experiences visions involving a Man in Black who seeks to destroy a Tower and bring ruin to the Universe while a Gunslinger opposes him. However, Jake's mother, stepfather and psychiatrists dismiss these as dreams resulting from the trauma of his father's death the previous year. At his apartment home in New York City, a group of workers from an alleged psychiatric facility offer to rehabilitate Jake; recognizing them from his visions as monsters wearing human skin, he flees from the workers who give chase. Jake tracks down an abandoned house from one of his visions where he discovers a high-tech portal that leads to a post-apocalyptic world called Mid-World..

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There are other worlds than these See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic material including sequences of gun violence and action. | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 August 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Dark Tower See more »

Filming Locations:

Cape Town, South Africa See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,153,698, 6 August 2017

Gross USA:

$50,701,325

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$71,873,047
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tom Hardy was considered for the role of the Man in Black. See more »

Goofs

Jake's map of the beams and tower is wrong. He only draws 3 beams when they say there are 6 beams with 12 Guardians. See more »

Quotes

[from trailer]
Roland Deschain: The Tower is all that stands between light and darkness. For thousands of generations the gunslingers were knights. Sworn to protect it. Now I'm the only one left.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Right at the very end of the credits, you hear the ominous whistle. See more »

Connections

References Cujo (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Va Va Voom
Written by Levi Brown and Frank Zappa (as Junior Mintz)
Courtesy of Extreme Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Generic action sequences, oversimplification of an epic story and shoddy effects are just some of the problems....
3 August 2017 | by Matt_LaydenSee all my reviews

This film, which was inspired, not adapted from the Stephen King novels of the same name, takes a sweeping epic, dumbs it down, loses the focus and lazily tries to make it look cool for a younger audience. This film is bad and I went in with an open mind, hoping to find some redeeming qualities about it. While there are some good ideas, I can't help but feel that this will be somewhat heartbreaking for fans of the books who were actually excited to see it.

Jake Chambers is a young boy who suffers from horrific nightmares. In those nightmares, he sees The Man in Black, who kidnaps children and uses a device to suck their minds right out of their head. All in an effort to destroy the Dark Tower. The Dark Tower is the centre of the universe, protecting all worlds from the evil that lies beyond, out in the darkness. Roland, the last of the Gunslingers, soldiers sworn to protect the tower, is on a mission to kill The Man in Black. When Jake discovers a portal that leads to their world, he jumps in and finds Roland. Together they must stop The Man in Black, or their world and all worlds, will end.

I couldn't help but think to myself, that people would never want to see a film that was loosely inspired by The Lord of the Rings. They would much rather see that literary masterpiece adapted to the big screen. Imagine Peter Jackson used the same characters and made a different story, but still slapped the title on it? So I can't help but wonder why they thought it would be a good idea to loosely adapt The Dark Tower and not do a straight adaption from the books. I kind of get the idea they were going for, in regards to how the book series ends, but they missed the mark and by a wide margin.

I'm sure fans of the series would pick up numerous nods to the books here and there, but that is not enough. Graffiti on the wall of Hailing The Crimson King will get a knowing nod from people, but that's it. I'm sure they would rather see the actual story from the books on the screen. Arcel and writer Goldsman, oversimplify an epic story into a 90 some odd minute shoot em up. Sure, it looks cool when Elba reloads his guns, but I want something more than that. It doesn't help that the film essentially has two and a half action sequences, which might look neat to those who haven't seen a film like John Wick.

Elba does his best with the clunky dialogue, but he can't save it. McConaughey chews up the scenery, as expected. His character is "worse than the devil". He can kill people by simply telling them to stop breathing. He does this numerous times. He can catch bullets, incinerate people, basically force anyone to do anything. Mucho powerful. But here's the expository dialogue part "Roland, you've always been immune to my magic, haven't you?" So there you have it, he can't hurt our hero in the "stop breathing" category. He can still use the force to hurl objects at him and watching McConaughey move his hands around to control items like broken glass or rocks is unintentionally comical.

Bad special effects plague this film. There is a sequence at night where a demon, which apparently breaks through the barrier, attacks Roland and Jake. It's hard to make out what it looks like, or what the heck is going on. But in the end does it matter? Who know the Gunslinger will eventually put it out of its misery. I snickered at seeing how bad they rendered humans falling around or getting hit by cars. It only happens a few times in one particular sequences, but it's something that still hasn't been perfected and probably never will.

The entire film feels clunky, unexplained or unexplored. I never got a sense of Roland's world. There are abandoned structures all over and they have no idea what they were used for, but we clearly know they are carnival rides, as does Jake. How does anyone who never read the books have a clue as to what this means. Arcel seems uninterested in exploring that side of the story and instead streamlines it from point A to point B. This isn't a story to do that, especially if the goal is to branch it off into a series. I suspect this will be the only film they make.

With generic action sequences, oversimplification of an epic story, shoddy effects and some questionable performances (Jake's friend is the biggest offender), The Dark Tower is a big missed opportunity. Here is a series that could have been several films, sweeping multiple genres and taking viewers on a ride they probably wouldn't of forgotten. Instead we get this film that I already have forgotten. Ho-hum, despite a big budget, we have yet another King adaption failure.


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