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The First Trailer for The Dark Tower Shows Us the Whole Movie, so I’m Nervous

It is a truth universally acknowledged that when a trailer is packed too full and seems to reveal all of a movie’s cool moments, the resulting film itself is not that great.

I really, really wanted to love the first Dark Tower trailer. I’m a fan of the Stephen King books that inspired the film (this movie isn’t a direct adaptation of the 8-book series, but is pitched as a “sequel,” so you needn’t have read them). I adore nothing so much on Earth or Asgard as Idris Elba, who plays Roland Deschain / The Gunslinger, and I liked the idea of Matthew McConaughey playing a villain. McConaughey does his best work, in my opinion, when he’s chewing the scenery and getting to act unhinged, and the casting of him as the “worse than the devil” Man in Black seemed auspicious.

Unfortunately, nothing much about the trailer excites me except some pretty badass slo-mo gunslinging effects—and those we’ve had on-screen since The Matrix. While I could watch Idris Elba reload his gun from mid-air bullets all damned day, nothing else is compelling me to re-watch the trailer even as I write this.

In my experience as a film lover and trailer obsessive, when a trailer tries to show too much, it’s because the film itself isn’t too stellar. So they pack the trailer full of the most impressive moments, effects, and attempts at profound dialogue, hoping to lure us in. The problem then is that when you show up at the theater, you’ve already seen everything worth seeing.

I’d love to be proven wrong about this. The Dark Tower has been promised to us for a long time, and the property has so much potential. I mean, Stephen King ideas fuelling a dark fantasy science fiction Western, plus Idris Elba?? How can you go wrong? And yet the story we see above—innocent, troubled kid needs protecting by jaded, troubled hero-type, while Elba’s heavy-handed voiceover tells us the convoluted plot—doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in me. Why do I feel like I’ve already seen this movie before and know all its beats and how it ends?

Here’s the international trailer if you want to take a look again at mostly the same scenes and leaden line-readings with a few changes:

I wanted so much to be excited about this movie. It comes out August 4th, so maybe we’ll get some more reassuring looks before then. I really do hope I’m wrong. Tell me I’m wrong in the comments.

(image: screengrab)

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Kaila is a lifelong New Yorker. She's written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.