The Dark Tower: Alternative Facts

The Dark Tower   Dark Tower Trailer   was everything I thought the movie would be.  In sync with the characters, mostly;  adherence to the basic story and overall mood and ambiance of heroes fighting to save all of humanity while most people around them are  unaware they are in mortal peril for anything worse then dropping their cell phone in the toilet, before flushing.

As a result, it is dark and serious mixed with humorous as intense action scenes on Earth zip by while most of the planet is seemingly  looking up at  sky full of clouds that seem to be on fire.  (I just hope it doesn’t happen on the day of the eclipse).   The scenes are tuned like a Stradivarius to give us just enough story to “get it” by borrowing on a smidgen of scenes and images you might get by reading all the first 3-4 books but this is a new story.  Instead of trying to overload us with story lines, they created a new, “King-worthy” sequence using familiar plot elements and characters but with an ‘alternative facts’ story that gives us a new ending for a character, (actually a more satisfying ending) and a story that is part science and part “magicks”.

Walter, played by top-billed Matthew McConaughey plays a perfectly evil, cold and cruel villain.  He also manages that taunting, I’m better than you are, attitude that so many bullies use to harass their quarry, which was evident in Walter in the book.  Idris Elba absolutely nails the stoic, man of few words Gunslinger who displays all of the qualities we have come to love and hate in Roland Deschain.  He is actually more human immediately here, while in the books Roland seemed to take an age at first, (until we know the backstory – but I digress).  Jake Chambers is literally “channeled” into existence by Tom Taylor who looks exactly like he should in my mind, and who often manages to look like the nervous, terrified youngster  who has been psychologically abused by life and some of the characters in his.  He trades this off with brief glimpses of the determined, responsible and dutiful young man he is becoming, who in-turn raises himself up in our minds by propping up the Gunslinger with admiration and high expectations.

In short, it is an entertaining movie that seems more like a new alternative facts portion of the story.  Could it have been longer, well yeh, can’t they all, but do they need to be?   Maybe we’ll get a Directors Cut or something.  Trying to make all eight books into movies would take most of a generation to do.  No, I’m happy just to go back and read them all a third time or more.  I loved the movie.  It adds a new element and puts a face to many of the characters.   Like Edgar Allen Poe, Mr. King’s stories will be around for a long time.

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