Author(s): James S.
"The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger"
Directed by David Lynch
Written by David Lynch
Based on the Novel by Stephen King
Viggo Mortenson as The Gunslinger
Tobin Bell as The Man in Black
Alexander Michaeletos as The Boy
Anthony Hopkins as The Elder
Sigourney Weaver as The Den Mother
Tagline: "Look to the Horizon... and Beg For Sunset"
Synopsis: The Man in Black fled across the desert and The Gunslinger followed. Shots are fired, crows left dead in the chaos. The Gunslinger holstered his gun as his heart sank. Sandy winds whip across his bare face as the shadow of his enemy fades into the distance.
Many days along the roadless way, he finds himself amidst a great many buildings left for the dead. Long since have these been abandoned. The ruins of once great towers, the remaining cables of three great bridges, a woman standing many men tall, the great water creeping up to his feet. He will have to return here one day but... They're coming.
The Gunslinger flees into the depths. Many miles. The surface people are still following. They thirst for blood. He must get away. Fast. And then, with a misplaced step, he falls. Falls forever, it seems. Until finally a darkness enshrouds him even darker than his surroundings.
He wakes to the underlings; the people of UnderGround. They stare down at him. Two elders hide him deep and then extract his history from him. His days in the Old World... the train... childhood, the train.
A boy has been kidnapped by the surface people! A very special boy. A boy from a very different world. The Gunslinger leaves his confession and goes in search of the boy. But he doesn't find him. He finds the dead bodies of hundreds of surface people. The Man in Black has the boy. To draw him closer. Lead him into a trap. With the boy as bait, the Man in Black watches for The Gunslinger until a bullet comes tearing through the door.
What the Press would say:
"The Gunslinger" is classic Lynch. With no beginning and no clear end, this horrifying quasi-western quickly descends into being a nightmare. From the opening shots of two men running across a desert, to the final shot of The Gunslinger laying in the sand on a beach, we are treated to an ever darkening fantasy that begins as a question mark and ends with no questions answered but a hundred new questions asked.
Jumping into the story full force, we are introduced to The Gunslinger, a loan gunman chasing after a Man in Black. His motives are never revealed but we are privy to learning a little bit about the mysterious gunslinger's past. His ideal childhood in a small town near the Mexico boarder, a massive locomotive with a skull at its head, and the viral plague that wiped out almost everything, and left about 90% of the remaining population mutated.
Viggo Mortenson plays the gunslinger with a silent intensity reminiscent of Clint Eastwood. He is the last of the gunslingers, the others being killed off by the Surface People. He is largely an enigma in a movie full of questions. He is supported by Anthony Hopkins and Sigourney Weaver; two underlings who protect him from the Above Grounders as long as they can. They seep into his memories of the past and use them in order to help him in the present. Only when a young boy, played to perfection by Alexander Michaeletos, is kidnapped, do they allow him to leave. The boy has been kidnapped by The Man in Black, a cloaked figure with two magnums strapped to his wrists. Tobin Bell takes the roll of The Man in Black and revels in it. His chill-inducing voice and his sallow eyes bring the character to life, even under the black cloak. His performance was definitely the most memorable performance of the film. His total lack of compassion when threatening the boy's life, his determination in killing the gunslinger, his hidden agenda.
Everyone in this film has a hidden agenda and that's one of the reasons it is so interesting.
Deep characters, a story that draws you in until you can't find your way out, powerful direction, and amazing sequences make this film. The final sequence in the movie is one in which The Gunslinger and The Man in Black shoot their way out of a hoard of above-grounders and end up on an empty beach. With the Gunslinger's guns out of ammo, The Man in Black aims and fires.
Lynch creates a nightmare world where up is down and light is dark. Where the fires of hell are heaven compared to living. David Lynch adapts "The Gunslinger", the first of four parts, from Stephen King's "The Dark Tower"; an epic story of good versus evil that reaches just below four thousand pages. "The Gunslinger" leaves no hope for us in the end. Like the characters, we are left without a beginning or an end, And we haven't even reached the middle yet...
FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
Best Director - David Lynch
Best adapted Screenplay - David Lynch
Best Actor - Viggo Mortenson
Best Supporting Actor - Tobin Bell
...The Journey Has Only Begun...
...Prepare For The Drawing Of The Three...