"The Dark Tower" has had a long and rough road to the big screen, and according to critics, it was not worth the wait.
At the time of this writing, the Stephen King adaptation starring Idris Elbaand Matthew McConaughey holds an embarrassing 17 percent approval rating from critics counted, so far, on Rotten Tomatoes. Out of 35 reviews available, only six reflected positively on the movie. Reviews call out director Nikolaj Arcel's adventure movie a "small, sad pile of rubble" and "a complete disaster, a limp, barely coherent shell of a movie."
The general gist of the story is as follows: Roland Deschain (Elba), a.k.a the last Gunslinger, is fighting evil Walter O'Dim (McConaughey), more commonly referred to as the Man in Black, to prevent the destruction of the titular tower, which holds the entire universe together.
The movie hits theaters this Friday, but you probably want to read these seven terrible reviews before you consider buying a ticket.
"Though far from the muddled train wreck we've been led to expect, this Tower lacks the world-constructing gravitas of either the Tolkien books that inspired King or the franchise-launching movies that Sony execs surely have in mind. 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."
"So much potential in terms of star power and source material goes to waste simply because it seems like the filmmakers couldn't figure out what movie to make. 'Dark Tower' tosses out a lot of plot threads that never go anywhere and even the ending is rushed, like somebody forgot to study for an essay test and then has to B.S. their way out of a failing grade.
Make no mistake, though, this is a fantastical faceplant, and though Elba tries his hardest, what could have been the tale of an iconic gunslinger is a big miss."
"'Where I come from we don't have chicken,' Matthew McConaughey, the evil Walter o'Dim aka the “Man in Black” says sincerely and diabolically at one point, in Sony's remarkably inept and impenetrable adaptation of Stephen King's 'The Dark Tower' book series. It's a throwaway line, both hilariously stupid and perhaps even intentionally funny, that surprisingly receives some genuine laughs. But other than some rather very arbitrary and asinine jokes about the species of animal the characters are eating, and some tonally odd gags, 'The Dark Tower' is as dumb as any tasteless fowl. And somehow, I don't think Stephen King would appreciate a 'Dark Tower' takeaway centering on poultry or the lack of it on some far off parallel universe. Then again after this egregious misfire, the author might just hide away from social media for some weeks in associative humiliation. The ridiculously constructed movie is that embarrassing."
"Every now and then — 'The Shining,' 'The Shawshank Redemption' — a movie adaptation of Stephen King's work really hits the mark. But when they miss, they tend to miss badly. Even by that standard, “The Dark Tower” is a near-total whiff, a mess of a movie that took forever to get made and by the look of things should have taken about twice that long. Or maybe just never have been made at all."
"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. A tight story is one thing, but a 95-minute feature that is unable to give even the slightest inkling that it's based on a grand-scale epic masterpiece is something else entirely. The whole universe is at stake here, but “The Dark Tower” wastes precious time before it delivers any big moments, which then only arrive care of listless and muddled action sequences."
"While sitting through this uniquely flavorless slog, a viewer jolts out of a waking sleep every five minutes or so to realize that they have not internalized a thing. Nikolaj Arcel's efforts to translate and condense Stephen King's long-running series of densely mythologized novels amount to being a western without the majesty of the west, a fantasy without anything even coming close to being fantastic."
"For a movie based on one of the most beloved book series in history, the writing in 'The Dark Tower' is sometimes shockingly bad. (The screenplay is credited to Anders Thomas Jensen, Akiva Goldsman, Jeff Pinkner, and director Nikolaj Arcel.) A lot of McConaughey's dialogue is laughable ('Have a great apocalypse!' might be the highlight), all of it delivered with enough over-the-top gusto to bring the McConaissance to a permanent conclusion. The structure is a total mess as well ... When Elba gets to do stuff with his guns, it's really cool, but his character takes forever to show up in the movie at all, and then doesn't fire a single bullet for 45 minutes. For half of 'The Dark Tower' he is not technically a gunslinger. He's just a guy wandering around in a desert with a boring kid."