I was about 16 or 17 when I picked up the first Dark Tower book. I was already a fan of Stephen King Now I’ve read all the books and it’s been a couple of years since the last, so there are a lot of thing I have forgotten about the series. Despite that it is still very special to me.
So of course I was excited about the film and I went to see it, despite the negative reviews.
It was a very strange thing, seeing Roland on screen. I felt hopeful. Not about the movie, but in general. I felt a sense of hope and love and respect towards a character I had followed throughout the years. Because he is so strong and resilient, I felt a surge of power and emotion that came through despite my crappy mood.
Apart from that moment the movie was fine. I had already accepted that it won’t follow the books and that it will mix things together to appeal to a wider audience.
I still don’t understand who the movie was actually made for. The fans will inevitably be annoyed at all the liberties it takes with the story. Non-fans will not be impressed. I saw the movie with my boyfriend who hasn’t read the books and he did not like it. He has seen movies which have better action scenes, better endings, better set-ups, and without the nostalgia glasses it’s not an incredible movie.
For me the best thing about the film was that it reminded me of the books. With the house demon and forest demon, with Jake’s visions, Roland’s visit to our world and the Crimson King references. It all called back moments from the books. On that note, I don’t know if they teased it on purpose or if it was just in my head, but whenever Jake was next to the street I was just waiting for a car to hit him so he can bleed out on the street. And I am really disappointed Roland didn’t have sex with the forest demon.
Apart from that I don’t like the direction that the story took. The first book was short enough that it could have been adapted well, but maybe they thought it wouldn’t translate well on screen. It also ends pretty open ended while the movie ties everything with a nice bow, in case nothing follows.
I am disappointed that they left out Roland letting Jake die and the conversation he has at the end with the Man in Black. Those were really important moments for character and story building.
Also Roland seemed far more motivated by revenge than by wanting to reach or save the Tower, which was a big simplification of his character.
My conclusion is that I have to read the books again…