The Dark Tower Reviews: 9 Early Reactions You Need To See

Built on rocky foundations.

The Dark Tower Idris Elba
Columbia Pictures

Stephen King movie adaptations have a chequered history - for every decent one there are five stinkers that give new meaning to the word horror.

Fears that the big-screen adaptation of his magnum opus, The Dark Tower, is destined for the majority category have abounded since the project first entered development more than 10 years ago.

Several false starts, a dozen setbacks and a couple of directorial departures later, Roland the Gunslinger has finally made it to cinema, but is the end result enough to silence claims that King's sprawling saga is unfilmable?

Although King has backed the project from the start, defending it tooth and nail after its divisive trailers debuted, even the author probably feared the worst ahead of the early reviews landing.

The first wave of them has come crashing in, and guess what? They aren't particularly positive, with most critics agreeing that The Dark Tower fails to capture the emotional depth and complexity of the novels.

So it's fair to say the tower may have been built on rocky foundations, but are there any positives to draw?

9. The Fans Will Be Disappointed

The Dark Tower Idris Elba
Columbia Pictures
“Fans of King’s books will likely be disappointed by the way this long-awaited film adaptation speeds through essential plot points and frantically introduces characters with little in the way of rhythm or care, all in service of a rushed finale that will leave plenty scratching their heads." - IndieWire
"Though satisfying enough to please many casual moviegoers drawn in by King’s name and stars Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, it will likely disappoint many serious fans and leave other newbies underwhelmed.” - The Hollywood Reporter

Adding credence to the belief that The Dark Tower and cinema is a marriage that was never going to work out, the early consensus is that hardcore Stephen King fans won't find much to love here.

Given that the film's trailers were heavily weighted towards the Gunslinger versus the Man in Black angle, the movie was accused of oversimplification, and sadly the critics seem to agree that is indeed the case.

The Dark Tower appears to have been boiled down to a battle of good against even, with little ambition to fully connect itself to the epic saga it was borne out of, or tap into any of its deeper elements for that matter.

Many reviews put this down to the movie feeling rushed, and with a runtime of little more than an hour and a half, how could it be anything else?

Perhaps the most disappointing aspect about all of this is that The Dark Tower was a decade in the making. They had all of this time to get it right, but instead chose to simplify, streamline and sprint to the finish line.


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