An adaptation of the Stephen King’s novel series of the same name. There is this tower in another world and it protects the many worlds that exist across many different dimensions. There is a gunslinger, sworn to protect the tower. There is the man in black, determined to bring it down.
I have heard that this movie does not adapt to any single book in the series but rather meshes elements from all the books together into a single 90 min film. Hot damn. The fans are probably not going to be very happy. Either way, I know next to nothing about the series and will judge it as a film and film only.
Right off the bat, this film moves very fast, it has a substantial amount of ground it wants to cover and only 90 mins to do it. It is not like there aren’t any slow moments but the movie jumps from scene to scene, location to location really fast and it gives a very rushed feel. The story starts quickly and ends equally quickly although it is a very neat ending. It feels very bare, raising a lot of questions about this interesting universe but not taking the time with its world building to answer them. The central villain also feels like an enigma and went down rather easily in my opinion at the end. The original story is a gargantuan one and to try to adapt it into a 90 min movie…well, did you really expect it to succeed? As someone who does not know anything about the series, the film just came off as okay and kind of forgettable.
McConaughey was devilishly charming as the man in black and seems to be having a lot of fun in the role. He’s a joy to watch although his character feels woefully underdeveloped and you never really know who/what he really is. Idris Elba stands out more here not because he’s a better actor, I feel like they’re both amazing actors. Rather the script affords him more backstory and character growth as compared to McConaughey and of course he is likewise a treat to watch as the world-weary gunslinger.
The standout strength of this film is its well put together action scenes and Idris Elba has some pretty impressive gunslinging moves that were quite fun to watch.