Monday 13 November 2017

There were plenty of other people who could have helped that guy back into his wheelchair

 The Dark Tower - Yeah, I don't know what that was.
It starts well by quoting the opening narration of the 1984 Masters Of The Universe movie - "there is a tower at the center of the universe" and so on - but then goes all meta by saying "the mind of a child can bring it down", which after watching the film I take to mean that The Dark Tower is so flimsy that even a child can poke holes in it until it collapses - which is exactly what happens over the course of the film, as kids are used to literally poke holes in The Dark Tower.
Is it fantasy?  Science fiction?  What is the motivation of the villain?  Why does it look so cheap?  He's a sorcerer but his big plan is a science laser?  Why doesn't he just use magic?  We clearly see him blowing chunks off the Tower, so why doesn't he just keep doing that until it falls down rather than looking for an extra powerful battery to make an even bigger laser bullet that will kill the tower in one shot?  Where is this science coming from?  We only ever see ruined post-civilised worlds, so where is he getting his technology and scientists?  None of this makes any sense.
It reminds me of Super Dimensional Fortress Macross and how it was repackaged as Robotech in America: SDFM had a McGuffin called "Protoculture", which was the concept of non-terrestrial civilisation predating humanity and which was cited as a conceptual barometer of the human species' capacity for higher technological and philosophical states (can we achieve the same level as protoculture?" type of thing), but in the rewritten US version of the show, Protoculture was a power source a bit like Energon Cubes that could be used to make lasers and "control the universe".  That kind of pigshit-thick interpretation of the source material is basically what I think I'm looking at in The Dark Tower, which is so remarkably lacking in any interesting characters or ideas that I am now convinced that the studio started the race-swapping debate about the casting of Dris as The Gunslinger just to obscure what a load of shite this film is - you know, like they did with the Ghostbusters remake, and Spider-Man: Homecoming.  Yes, all these race/gender-swapping furores around products from the same studio - that's a bit of a coincidence, isn't it?  And a studio we already know from an infamous hack to be institutionally racist and misogynistic at the highest levels, making their sudden turn as posterboys for multiculturalism and gender diversity more than a little unconvincing.
I'll credit them that baiting racists in order to use them as a pretext to dismiss criticism of a boring and glaringly flawed film was actually a clever marketing strategy and probably the best thing about The Dark Tower, but perhaps emboldening racists and further bringing racism back into the mainstream might not be something we should do.  Maybe instead of upping our deflecting criticism game we should make better art?  Just floating that out there, Sony.

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