The last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O'Dim, also known as the Man in Black, determined to prevent him from toppling The Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.

As someone who has never read the books or been familiar with its concept, I was genuinely impressed with this film. The adaption of its original format into a visual one, the camera work, and videography, the angles and color tones all took me by surprise.

Pre-conceived thoughts

I understand that some critics are put off by its lack of detail and comparison to how great the book series was, but how could it honestly compare? Most, if not all films that are derived from a book series aren’t as great. They simply lack the imagination the reader musters up in order to visualize their own descriptions and personalities of characters. This being said, King has always had problems with the films created from his work as he is such an incredible and well-respected writer. People genuinely compare the film to his writing too literally and therefore are discouraged by his films.

Before watching the film, I made myself familiar with all the reviews linked to "The Dark Tower" and was met with pages of negative comments.

Other critics go into lengthy complaints about how this film isn’t following and staying true to the books and that if you are a fan of King's work not to watch this film. Well, I’m here to tell you not to listen. Their views are personal and opinionated, mine are not. I am reviewing this as it is - a film. True, I am a fan of the King books but firstly I haven’t read this book series and second, I’m not reviewing a book.

I’m reviewing a film and others need to take that on board.

The bread and butter

This leads us to “The Dark Tower” and its adaptation from the seven-book series. I think it’s safe to say it should be more of an “Inspired By” Vs “Based On” film as given the comments it’s nothing like what’s in the books.

The film uses the main characters, Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey) and Roland (Idris Elba) to convey much of the backstory that is apparently featured in the first two books.

It gears the story to becoming something more of an “Inspired By” approach, as there is a lot more of the story needing to be included if it was “Based On”.

This is where the biggest concern for enjoyment comes. Those that have read the books are left feeling disappointed, whereas, those that haven’t, see the film as an engaging and interesting escapist adventure. I fall into that category.

After in-depth reading into what the books consist of and why King readers are so disappointed I understand that given the eight-book series, the film should have used that material a little more sparingly as I don’t feel a 90-minute film could really paint the picture the writers wanted. There should have been more included in the film, with a little more focus on what the books portray.

However, the film was to me, a perfectly executed film, that has left room to be developed into a trilogy or series of extended films, allowing more establishment to the storyline.

There is one major disappointment I have with this film, however, and that is the ending. There is a lot of build up throughout the story, all edging towards an explosive and dramatic ending, which did not come. Instead, the ending did leave me feeling cheated and confused as to whether that was actually it. It was too sudden and too simple to end on the note that it did, which leaves me to strongly believe in more films to come.

Concluding thoughts

All in all, I really enjoyed this film. Matthew McConaughey played a superb villain, creating a very tense and ruthless atmosphere.

Idris Elba playing an infamous and spectacularly respected gunslinger and Tom Taylor portrayed the innocence of Jake so easily. So, go and give this movie a try, whether you have read the books or not, go in with an open mind. Don’t expect masses of blood and gore that is normally featured within the King movies but do expect a film that is enjoyable and entertaining to watch, a film that immerses you into its adventure, more of a film that could be seen as a stand-alone, more of a sequel to the last book in the series.

There is so much potential and so much that isn’t covered that the possibility for other continuing films is still plausible.