starring Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Taylor, Jackie Earle Haley
screenplay by Akiva Goldsman & Jeff Pinkner and Anders Thomas Jensen & Nikolaj Arcel
directed by Nikolaj Arcel
by Walter Chaw If I cared or knew one thing about Stephen King's revered Dark Tower series, I'd probably really hate this movie in exactly the same way I initially hated Francis Lawrence's Constantine. I was a devotee of the Vertigo sub-line of DC comics through the early-'90s--the one that produced titles like Neil Gaiman's "The Sandman", Jamie Delano's "Animal Man", Grant Morrison's "Doom Patrol", and Delano/Garth Ennis's "Hellblazer", which of course formed the basis for Lawrence's picture. But I don't. Care about The Dark Tower, that is. For all that King once meant to me as a kid, it and The Stand were two of his epics I could never get into. I missed the window on Tolkien, too. And in not caring and in my complete ignorance, I like Nikolaj Arcel's The Dark Tower about as much as I like Constantine now, not needing the four or five years to come to terms with how it doesn't jibe with images and rhythms I'd conjured in my jealous nerd-dom. (I maintain, however, that if they were going to make Constantine a Yank, they should've cast Denis Leary.) In The Dark Tower, the main hero is a kid named Jake (Tom Taylor) who, one day, discovers that all those crazy dreams he's been having, which have led to all those creepy-kid drawings plastering his bedroom walls, are TRUE. Why won't you listen to Jake, adults? Obviously modelled after the kid in Last Action Hero, Jake dreams of a dark tower that is not Idris Elba that is under attack by the evil Man in Black, who is not Johnny Cash but is named Walter and is played by Matthew McConaughey. My favourite moment in the film is when Walter shows up in Jake's parents' kitchen, frying something on the stove, explaining apologetically that where he's from, there's no chicken.