Horror writer Stephen King has a had a mixed bag with movie adaptions of his work, for every brilliant Shawshank Redemption there’s a Carrie remake.
With an A list cast, a decent budget of nearly £50m and an epic eight series book to work from, this is easily one of the worst.
Bland teenager Jake Chambers discovers he has psychic ability and finds himself transported to another dimension. Poor young actor Tom Taylor is out of his depth. As
Jake he’ll attack a high school bully for stealing his artwork, but when confronted with a multidimensional magical reality, his indifference is staggering, all yeah, like whatevs.
There he meets Idris Elba’s gunslinger, a former defender of the Dark Tower who’s vowed revenge on the magical Man In Black for killing his father. The English star tries hard but his talent isn’t given a target and his charisma is mostly holstered.
As his arch enemy Matthew McConaughey is a swaggering snake of a sorcerer, but he lacks any venom. He wants to use Jake’s psychic ability to destroy the Dark Tower, which protects the universe from outside attack.
Mashing up fantasy, science fiction, horror, and Westerns, there’s loads of good ideas thrown about such as dimension doorways, an army of human-sized rat-men, and bullets made from the sword of King Arthur.
So it’s scandalous this is so dull and devoid of mystery, wonder, thrills or fun. Plus it’s over stuffed and under powered, feeling long even with its brief running time.
With flat dialogue, dull action and unimpressive CGI, it manages to maintain a languid pace and tepid tone as it lurches along from silly to stupid.
Fans of the books will be furious and everyone else will be discouraged from reading them. And there’s no power in or outside the universe which could make me darken the tower’s door again.