MOVE REVIEW: Tower's too steep a climb for this fan
THE Dark Tower novels are Stephen King's War and Peace.
With a massive eight books in total, the series has proved difficult to adapt and Hollywood has been struggling to get a film off the ground for at least the 10 years.
And now the movie is finally here - but King fans like me are likely to be disappointed by this version.
The film starts with New York boy Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) struggling with visions of a mysterious cowboy knight and his enemy, a man in black who commands monsters wearing human skin.
On the run from the Man in Black's minions - who, of course, are real - Jake heads to a house from his visions, where he discovers a high-tech portal to Mid-World, the post-apocalyptic home of Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), the last Gunslinger.
Director Nikolaj Arcel has gone with a mix and match approach, cherry-picking elements from the different novels - and creating a finished product that doesn't really resemble any of them.
The film's extremely short running time (95 minutes) doesn't really help either. With no room to expand on anything, the plot is pretty basic and by-the-numbers.
There's no sense of grandeur or mystery, everything seems to be about getting from plot point A to plot point B in the fastest possible time.
The main thrust of the narrative is the "surrogate father-son” relationship between Roland and Jake, but even that develops so quickly it's hard to become invested in it.
Idris Elba is the strongest actor in the film and could have been a good Roland (despite looking nothing like the character from the books) but he's wasted on the material.
Matthew McConaughey fares less well as King's infamous Man in Black, who ends up as a bit of a generic bad guy. He's a good actor himself, but you can tell he's just done this one for the money.
Columbia Pictures has talked about a Dark Tower sequel and even a prequel TV series but I don't know if I'd really want to see a follow-up after the lacklustre first instalment.
Constant readers may just have to wait for a better version to be made later on.