I’m a huge Dark Tower fan.  The story and it’s characters/world rates up there among my all-time favorites with the likes of Stars Wars, Aliens and Middle-Earth.  My friends and family know this, so my brother didn’t hesitate to inform me when he noticed the new Dark Tower trailer this morning:

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Bro got right to the point so I’ll do the same; here’s the trailer:

Now that you’ve watched it, let’s break down the Good, the Bad and the Ugly…


The Good

  • I like what I see from Idris Elba as the Gunslinger.  He’s got an aged, worn and rugged feel to him which is exactly what I expect.  I admit, I’ve always pictured Roland as a white dude but I think Elba will be excellent as the Gunslinger.
  • Epic shoot-outs will not be in short supply.  What else would you expect when the main character is often referred to simply as “the Gunslinger”?  I’m even excited for the shoot-outs that have absolutely no basis in the source material (well… more on that later).  The oft-referenced “reloading trick” (2:02) was a nice touch.
  • As a fan of board and video games, I expect to see the inundation of both that usually accompanies the release of a high-profile movie.  I’ve always felt that the Dark Tower setting would be great for a video game, board game or RPG, and I expect to see it finally happen.  There is always a risk when these things are based off of movies; so hopefully the creators remember the faces of their fathers and we get something better than Dark Tower Risk.

The Bad

  • I don’t think Matthew McConaughey can overcome the stigma of being Matthew McConaughey.  The Man In Black is supposed to have an aura of fear and evil, similar to Darth Vader.  But when I watch the trailer, all I see is Matthew McConaughey in a suit and I don’t think he has the acting ability to overcome that.  Hopefully I’m wrong.
  • How many books are they packing into this movie?  It appears to focus on book 1, but I spotted elements from book 3 (Jake with the psychiatrist at 0:37) and the cast lists Susan Delgado who isn’t a prominent character until book 4.  Yet, there’s no sign of Eddie or Susannah from book 2.  The timeline seems to be all over the place.

The Ugly

  • The changes from the source material.  Look, I’m not the kind of hardcore dork that will nerd-rage at the slightest diversion from the source material, but I struggled to find things in the trailer that I recognized from the book.  On a scale of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings to Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit, it appears that we are precariously close to a Hobbit-like bastardization of the original story.  I could point out all of the specific changes that I noticed but it’s really most of the trailer; so I’ll just pick out some highlights:
  • Speaking of The Hobbit, are those orcs in disguise at 1:23?  May The Turtle help us if Azog the Defiler is pursuing Roland and Company throughout the movie.  Why not add Yoda and some face-huggers to complete my ultimate nerd quadfecta?  There are no orcs in The Dark Tower.

    Dark Tower Orc
    Dark Tower Ninja Orc compared to Hobbit Orc
  • Is Roland dueling the Man in Black in New York City?  That’s a pretty HUGE departure from the books.  I can handle the director inventing some Roland VS Orcs shoot-outs; but you’re taking some pretty big liberties when you’re adding a protagonist-versus-villain battle that never actually happened.  It would be the equivalent of Micheal Bay making The Bible: The Movie and saying “Look, the Book of Genesis is a little slow so I’m going to add a scene where God has a fire-sword and Satan has a shadow-scythe and they have an epic showdown on the Moon!”  Yea, kind of a big departure.  Also, with all of the changes they’re making to the story, I’m not even sure I can assume it’s New York City.  At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if the city ends up being Gondor or Mos Eisley.

Conclusion

Despite the MANY things in the trailer that make me cautious, I’m a pretty forgiving guy when it comes to dork movies.  If The Dark Tower can deliver a good (apparently mostly made-up) story, some good acting, some good shoot-outs and some good games, I think I’ll be happy.  Feel free to share your thoughts below.

Until Next Time,

Rogue Hippo