Is it any good?

NO

As a neophyte to the world, I cannot recommend this movie.

The only notable thing about The Dark Tower movie is that there is nothing notable about it. I could tell you sort of what was going on, but I couldn’t tell you why. I have no idea why you or anyone should care, and the movie struggles with providing any of that emotion.

There’s a tower that acts as the nexus of realities and a man in black that wants to destroy it. Why? Unclear. He pissed off a gunslinger so the gunslinger wants to kill him. Then there’s a kid who is the main character, but his story really doesn’t matter very much.

The director just doesn’t know what he’s doing really. There’s no boldness to anything. It’s a movie that’s uncomfortable in its own skin and I really couldn’t tell you why. It’s very paint-by-numbers. You can predict every story beat before it happens. “Of course this is where the hero and kid have a disagreement. And here’s where they meet new people that will give them something that will help them. And here’s where they have a setback.”

I just wish it wasn’t so boring. The palette is very monotone. The acting is very understated. The script has no surprises.

The only thing that I have anything really to say about it is the action is TERRIBLE. Too much shaky cam and the cuts are too quick. Some of the gun ballet choreography COULD be interesting, but we aren’t allowed to luxuriate in it. It’s a little weird that the slow mo comes in to show how the gunslinger reloads, but not as he does other actions. He shoots people, but we don’t see those people die. Would it kill them to give us an establishing shot? It’s hard to decipher an action sequence if we have no sense of the geography of a location. If I can survey the place for a few seconds and keep a mental count of how many adversaries there are, it’s that much more satisfying when they all fall.

I think that book readers may have more context to understand this. But the movie as presented does not lend pure moviegoers any real sense of the world or why we should care. Unless you are intimately familiar already, I’d skip it.

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