August 7, 2017

What Could Make 'The Dark Tower' Better

"What Could Make this film Better" is an arrogant post that focuses on how featured blockbusters could be made better. What could make The Dark Tower better?



HEAVY SPOILERS!  HEAVY SPOILERS!


Read our spoiler free review here! 

Passion

Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey in 'The Dark Tower'; Courtesy of Sony Pictures


It's safe to say and obvious to tell that The Dark Tower was created by people who never really cared about the Stephen King novels. The story is cut up, the characters are flat, and the action is dull. There are never any stakes in the film. The world is ending, but who cares? Jake is in Mid-World with The Gunslinger. Those are the only two people we care about. You'd probably forget that this was based of the King novels. The Dark Tower feels as if the studio took the barebones of the story, said that it wouldn't work, then reshaped the story for minimal blockbuster success.

Take a page out of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings or even any film that adapted a popular property. More films have passion than The Dark Tower. Stay true to the story. I know this is hard when studios are looking for every possible way to bring in money. However, The Dark Tower doesn't even hit the basics when going for money. There's no love story, there's not that much comedy, and there's not that much action. Every good thing that you see in the film seems to have been added after initial production. If you're going to make The Dark Tower, don't throw everything away from the books. 

Longer Story

Nikolaj Arcel with Taylor and Elba; Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Making a film longer can rarely be a good argument. If The Dark Tower had anything going for it, it was the length of the film. I sat down in my seat, watched a few scenes and the film was over. I was surprised. I then remembered that I didn't really watch anything interesting. Too much of the film focused on exposition, less on spectacle, and barely any on character development. The largest problem lurking in the shadows of the film is that The Dark Tower comes from eight books. Sony's abbreviated product makes no sense to continue the film franchise.

Reminder that Akiva Goldsman helped write the screenplay. Goldsman also wrote some other very horrible films. Find a writer who can bring gravitas to the film. Make the story longer. A 130 minute runtime is perfect for this type of epic tale. There needs to be an expansion of what is going on in these worlds. Bring in a director that isn't a puppet for the movie studio. Write and direct a worthy film that has detail. Runtime will definitely take a hit, but it's a necessary sacrifice. 


A Mythological Starting Point for the Connected KINGdom

Taylor and Elba; Courtesy of Sony Pictures
While this summer's The Mummy failed to create a great starting point for Universal's Dark Universe, The Dark Tower barely even tries. There are a couple references of other Stephen King properties out there, but they are just references, nothing more. Jake's psychiatrist has a picture of the Overlook Hotel on his desk. Jake has the shine (shining). In Mid-World Jake comes across an amusement park and a large broken sign that says Pennywise, referencing to It. In the movie trailers Misery's Child and Christine were presented for a quick second in small shots. These are all fine references, but they aren't doing anything for the story.

The Dark Tower has a tough road ahead. Hulu has taken responsibility to provide audiences with a television show based on the majority of Stephen King's properties. The Dark Tower will head to television and possibly back to film with a sequel (please don't). Going straight to television was always the plan. Then why make a film? Especially a one-off? We've already answered that question up above: referencing. Sony Pictures believes audiences don't know or don't understand Stephen King's works. Create a film to advertise. If the film is going to advertise, connect the worlds. Bring in a couple characters from other books. Have the characters reference other books. Make an effort.