Movie Review: Elba keeps The Dark Tower standing
This sci-fi western actioner is said to be based on horror maestro Stephen King's series of eight books of the same name.
King, who started The Dark Tower series in 1982, was inspired by J.R.R. Tolkein's The Lord Of The Rings, thus the tale about good versus evil, and a tower at the centre of it all.
But this Dark Tower is no Barad-dur, Sauron's fortress.
It has no bite, and neither does Matthew McConaughey's Man in Black, who also goes by Walter.
McConaughey, with his black pompadour and sleek trench coats and unbuttoned shirts, is all style and no substance.
Apart from the ability to kill with a mere whisper - "stop breathing" - and doing some sort of Jedi mind tricks, his powers are relegated to looking sinister and flinging debris.
And that brings us to our protagonists.
Tom Taylor, who plays Jake, and Idris Elba, who plays Roland, have great chemistry, and the latter does an admirable job as a babysitter-turned-mentor.
Elba is the glue that holds the paper-thin plot together.
Devoid of much fantasy, the story does not explore what is driving Roland and Walter, let alone the titular tower.
Making this movie revolve around young Jake instead of the Gunslinger turns it into a young adult flick instead of what King meant his series to be - a blend of fantasy, horror and sci-fi.
The project had passed through the hands of J.J. Abrams and Ron Howard before landing on Danish director Nikolaj Arcel's lap.
Perhaps some books are just not meant for the big screen.
Rating: 2.5 / 5
MOVIE: The Dark Tower
STARRING: Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Taylor
DIRECTOR: Nikolaj Arcel
THE SKINNY: Young boy Jake (Taylor) has nightmares about a dark tower, a gunslinger and a mysterious man in black. He later discovers that his visions are real and is soon spirited into another world, where Gunslinger Roland (Elba) must stop the Man in Black (McConaughey) from toppling the Dark Tower. If Roland fails, the world is in peril.