I aim with my eye.
I do not shoot with my hand; he who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
I shoot with my mind.
I do not kill with my gun; he who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father.
I kill with my heart
(Stephen King, The Gunslinger)
I’ll hold my hands up and freely admit that I haven’t read the books and, maybe, that’s a good thing. I don’t know if they’ve crammed all the books into one film or not and so I could relax and enjoy this cinematic extravaganza, because that’s exactly what it was.
The story tells of a young boy, Jake, who has visions about a Tower, a Gunslinger (Elba)and the Man in Black (McConaughy). The Man in Black is trying to destroy the Tower using the screams of children, kidnapped from Keystone Earth. The Gunslinger is sworn to protect the Tower, but has lost his mojo. Of course, the adults in Jake’s life believe he is acting out and arrange for him to be seen by a sleep clinic. This prompts him to run away.
Jake draws everything he sees and one of his drawings is of a house which, coincidentally, isn’t far from where he lives. The house turns out to be a portal to this other world and so Jake’s adventures begin.
I had to chuckle at the little references to King’s other books – homage was paid to Pennywise the clown via an abandoned fairground ride; and the short story Room 1408 was immortalised as the number of the main portal. I also sniggered at The Man in Black’s fearsome name….Walter. I guess this is a reminder that this is a film aimed at children.
The filmmakers, thanks to King, have created a thoroughly believable world for me to sit back and enjoy. Not once did I find it odd that an old abandoned house would be a portal to another dimension. I actually thought it was a great use for an abandoned house and got me wondering about the various abandoned buildings near me.
Suffice it to say, The Dark Tower will take you on an adventure, through the eyes of a young boy, into another world. A world where there exists a Dark Tower, which holds the balance between the worlds and keeps the evil at bay, a Gunslinger who fights to protect the Tower and a Man in Black who wants nothing more than to destroy it to unleash said evil. Why he wants to let the evil out is unclear, but we can assume it’s because he is, in essence, the devil, and he wants to be surrounded by more of his kind.