DISCLAIMER: I haven’t read the books. *runs to Audible to get book one* Happy? So just know I was able to watch this movie just as a movie in and of itself with little in the way of expectations.
Quick review: 4.2 stars- A suspenseful, action packed PG-13 romp through Stephen King’s head. Also Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey (you’d think I’d know how to say that’s guy’s name by now) running about in wicked cool coats. Go see it. You will not be sad. Probably don’t take your super sensitive 14yo. They might be sad.
Ok, here come a few spoilers.
You should leave if spoilers upset you.
It was so much fun!!! It was quick paced. The visuals were compelling without it being just a long visualoverwhelm. And the action was great. Watching Roland load his guns was some of the coolest stuff, unfortunately it was almost all in the trailer, so nothing super new and cool there, but good stuff I was looking forward to. There are potently dramatic moments (even more so if you already have a connections to these characters, I’d wager) when Roland loses his father, Jake discovers his mom’s murder, and at the end when Jake uses his gifts to save Roland. There are tons of Stephen King goodies in there, too. If you keep your eyes open there are a handful King Easter eggs in there. In many ways it feels like a giant PG-13 homage to King’s body of work.
This is not a horror though. It is a suspenseful action flick. So if you are looking for King style chills, look elsewhere. There are some scary moments and I would not take a 13 or 14yo to this movie. It’s just a little too intense, especially since Mom dies.
OK, so humans are great pattern finders. As a Mormon, I’m no different, I just tend to find the pattern of gospel principles in all the entertainment I view. “Gospel principles in a King movie?” you say. I do not aim with my hand, I aim with eye. He who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father. How often do we forget the face of The Father, his presence that is written on our hearts as his children, and trust in our own prowess and skill. Roland let’s vengeance cloud the aim of his heart and purity of his cause and as a result wanders in the desert. That’s some pretty age old symbolism right there. There are themes of never giving up and trusting in love and embracing compassion as a way of life even when darkness makes you pay for every step. There is an optimism despite of defeat in every minute of this movie, and a call to build and help each other no matter what reasons we may have to fear.
This was just a great flick. It’s not high cinema, but it is a well paced, well dressed action drama. If you are looking for something for date night where the hubster won’t be bored, but isn’t Dunkirk where you will just ball for 2 hours. this might just do the trick.
If you go, tell me what you thought in the comments.
Til next time, enjoy the show!