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Review The Dark Tower (2017): I loved it!

genre: adaptation, action, fantasy, adventure

Sometimes it is a real blessing not to be hindered by not knowing the source material. Yes, I am aware that this is based on a book series written by Stephen King and that it's one that is adored by many fans. I also know that in this series Stephen is constantly referring to other of his books who may or may not have a connection to The Dark Tower. And that the series was intended as a melting pot of different genres including western and fantasy. The fantasy part is not that much of a stretch. The western element sure is. To me this was the element that caught my interest.

While not plentiful the few gun fu scenes that are present are a true delight. Director Nikolaj Arcel is not really an action director so it was surprising to see how he knew to set the action sequences up and make them exciting. Granted the story helps a lot. For people like me who aren't familiar with the story it's nice to get introduced to this universe and it's mythology. Granted a lot of background information is left out but to be honest that would have made the viewing experience worse. As it is things are kept simple so that newbies can ease into it. I am sure that had this film been a succes it would have generated more sequels where they then would have spent more time explaining the world and it's characters. Because I was intrigued and compelled to find out more. But if I had been exposed to this right from the bat I would have been overwhelmed. Book readers keep forgetting that certain books or book series can't always be translated well to other mediums. Especially if they are extremely detailed.

Speaking of book readers. They are the ones who hated on this film since it supposedly was nothing like the books. I don't doubt that at all. However this film has sparked interest and even has made me consider to pick up the books. That should say something about the film's quality. Of course the film has been simplified and cut short. But not a single second of this film was wasted. It packed as much as it could with the undoubtedly multitude and complicated stories. It's rare to see a blend of fantasy, action and horror and fit the story so well. 

The acting was top notch all around. Both Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey made their characters shine (no pun intended or yes perhaps a little) in the limited time they had. Walter (Matthew) really is an incredibly unlikable and obvious evil entity. Elba as Roland is basically tired and exhausted. All he lives for is to take his revenge. It's because of Jake and his spirit that his own attitude and actions get questioned. 

The Dark Tower is a blast from start to finish and certainly has me psyched for everything concerning this franchise. It does enough to intrigue and make you realize why people love the book series. Terms like the Shine (from The Shining) and a reference to 1408 clearly are elements that make it more fun. This film very much deserves at least one sequel. Unfortunately that will never happen. However I did read that Amazon is going to make a show. Probably a much better medium that will be able to give the fans what they want.

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