(out of 5)
A New York pre-teen is being plagued by terrible dreams that make their way into his drawings, raising concern from his parents who feel that the therapy they’re sending him to isn’t doing enough. His visions include a grizzled gunslinger (Idris Elba), a magically-abled man in black (Matthew McConaughey) and the building of the title, one which resides at the centre of the universe and, once destroyed, would allow for the monsters and demons that reside beyond our known universe free reign to enter and cause trouble. The boy’s insistence that what he is dreaming is real falls on deaf ears, so he goes in search of a portal to other worlds that takes him into Elba’s company, helping him hunt McConaughey down and kill him before he achieves his goal of destroying the tower. A simple, streamlined plot is somehow gleaned from seven novels by Stephen King into a flimsy and uneventful movie, one whose gorgeous visual effects and solid performances will do nothing for literary fans. The film has relationships that have no effect and a quest that doesn’t really reach a climax; by the time you get around to the triumph of good versus evil, there’s very little in the way of a deep, emotional reward.
Directed by Nikolaj Arcel
Cinematography by Rasmus Videbaek
Music by Junkie XL
Costume Design by Trish Summerville