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The Dark Tower Movie: A Grand Sequel To Stephen King’s Epic" by R.J. Huneke – No doubt many Constant Readers are divided into groups of surprised, bitter, unsettled, or elated audience members of author Stephen King’s newest film adaptation, but viewers must keep in mind that this is not a direct adaptation of the novel.
This bold film is meant to do something new with the author’s work.
This reality is being lost on many.
Stephen King and the director Arcel came up with this idea of where the next step for Roland's character would be in relation to the dark Tower ... and its genius!
The acting, writing, thrilling action, and soaring storyline of The Dark Tower Movie weave through timelines and worlds majestically, like bullets through the air.
And the gunplay of Roland, which Idris Elba had to spend many weeks training to bring to life, is incredible.
The twirl of the sandalwood gripped irons, the crossing of their carved and inscribed barrels, and the Superman-like speed of their wielding are reasons worth watching the movie for alone.
Moviegoers who are not familiar with the gunslinger-centered work of King’s are loving the incredibly innovative and exciting tale of Roland, the last in a line of gunslingers sworn to uphold the White and protect the Dark Tower, the nexus of the universe, all realities, all of time and all of existence.
Those who have read of Sai King’s Roland are in for a treat.
The Dark Tower Movie is a sequel to the 4,000+ page magnum opus and life’s work, of best-selling author, Stephen King.
The books, starting with the first part The Gunslinger and ending with the finale in The Dark Tower (book eight is really part 4.5 in the series) comprise eight novels that make up one volume, one epic, The Dark Tower, and many of King’s other works of art (The Stand, The Talisman, Hearts In Atlantis, It) are tied to this grand uber-tale.
WARNING: Spoilers For The Books and Movies To Follow
But again, folks, The Dark Tower Movie is a sequel to the book.
The film is wholly innovative and carves its own path in the wood that will hopefully lead to the vast field of roses at sunset.
After Roland climbed the top of the Tower with his soul mangled beyond recognition and his heart aching with love for a son named Jake and all those that die in his path, Roland is sent back to repeat his life in what has been hundreds, maybe thousands, of turns of the wheel or attempts at life.
The Tower and all of existence stand in the balance alongside Roland’s soul, his Ka-tet, and his quest.
King leaves us with hope for the journey Roland embarks on at the very end of the book (the start of that journey through the desert: “The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed” [The Gunslinger by Stephen King]), because this is a new journey where the lost Horn of the Eld is borne by Roland so that he can finally wind it and truly succeed to the tower’s true top should he remain true to his soul along the way.
And so Sai King and Sai Arcel (the film’s brilliant director) delved into their imaginations and pulled out a daring approach to the big screen.
The Dark Tower Movie would be Roland’s last go of the wheel of Ka.
And, with the Horn, Roland would be living a completely different set of events to bring him to the Tower.
Ka is a wind, after all.
And in this movie, Roland is lost and his quest for the tower, for the defense of all that is good, is gone; a lust for revenge consumes him.
The Man in Black, aka Walter - played with all the creepiness, suave and slimy dialogue and love of cruelty to the teeth by Matthew McConaughey - killed Roland’s father.
Walter facilitated the murder of all of the remaining gunslingers at the Battle of Jericho Hill.
The only one to survive is Roland of the line of Arthur Eld.
When the film takes place, Roland is no longer even calling himself a gunslinger.
This is something that takes me, and I am sure King’s Constant Readers, aback!
Fans of the character, many who love the character like myself, feel a sense of bone-jarring shock.
Roland would never have forsaken what is a part of his very being, being a gunslinger . . . he would never do this (this would mean forgetting the face of his father, wouldn’t it?) . . . and yet at this last attempt at a life, he does.
Jake Chambers is both wholly new and very much the same empathetic boy and is played by Tom Taylor in a show-stealing depiction of the soon-to-be gunslinger.
The visions, a product of Jake’s strong ESP, add a new significance as he is targeted to be a breaker. Walter thinks that such a mind can become a breaker powerful enough to the destroy the final beams and make the Tower fall.
The beams are not explained in the movie, and instead the ‘Beam Quakes’ are explained as assaults on the Tower, like mental missiles, but the Beams could be delved into in the subsequent movies and TV series [check out The Dark Tower TV Series: Walking Dead Alum Glen Mazzara Will Serve as Showrunner].
Another difference between the two mediums is the ESP ability being referred to in the book as the ‘Touch’ and in the film is called the ‘Shine’.
What is as true as it ever could be, set your watch and warrant on it, is the relationship between Roland and Jake played by the brilliant actors Idris Elba and Tom Taylor.
Elba is remarkable in his performance and brings the quiet strength and grizzled, obsessive man to life perfectly.
His character arc plays out very well from the untrusting, loner/survivor to the more human and slightly more compassionate gunslinger knight to what could potentially become a surrogate father’s love for the boy Jake.
Their interactions are funny, at times, as Roland is introduced to soda for the first time in his life (some of these scenes are calling Eddie Dean up to the plate early) and other scenes are heart wrenching, like when Roland teaches Jake to shoot. The gunslinger’s creed, which Roland has not said aloud in time beyond count, is recited by he and the youth-in-training at the same time as their relationship progresses with the impending danger.
In just 95 minutes, The Dark Tower Movie starts a new grand saga for Roland, the gunslinger, and his Ka-tet; Jake is one part of a new family of gunslingers for now, but maybe Oy and Mr and Mrs. Dean (and dare I say Father Callahan too) will follow.
Do not miss out on this, a rare beauty of a film.
This is just the start.
There are other worlds than these.
The Dark Tower Movie carves new ground in an amazing and intricate manner that can only lead to a new way further down the gunslinger’s path on the Beam.
"The Dark Tower Movie: A Grand Sequel To Stephen King’s Epic" was first published on RuneWorks.com.