The Dark Tower review: this haphazard Stephen King misfire will be a chore for all

Director: Nikolaj Arcel; Starring: Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Taylor, Katheryn Winnick, Abbey Lee, Jackie Earle Haley. 12A cert, 95 mins.

Try to imagine an attempt to shoehorn the sprawling narrative of The Lord of the Rings into an hour and you’ll be close to grasping what went wrong with The Dark Tower. Previously an eight-book fantasy series by Stephen King, it has become a stunted afterthought of a film. It is being touted as a “canonical sequel” to the books rather than a straight “adaptation”, but in this sketchy and truncated form, how could it be otherwise?

Patently shredded at the bidding of (rightly) nervous bean-counters, the finished version of this gun-toting sci-fi-western hybrid does little service to anyone. Newcomers to King’s saga will leave none the wiser; fans none the happier. But it’s a sad waste, not a wilful one – a misfire you wish was better in virtually every shot.

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