Director: Denis Villeneuve
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi
Runtime: 155 Minutes
Main Cast: Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Zendaya, Jason Momoa, Stellan Skarsgård, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Sharon Duncan-Brewster
Plot: Based on the hugely famous novel by Frank Herbert, about Paul (Timothée Chalamet), the son of a noble family entrusted with the protection of the most valuable asset in the galaxy, and the expectations and issues that come with that responsibility.
My Thoughts: Dune was…a lot to unpack. My mind is still swimming after watching it last night. I haven’t seen the previous movie adaptation, I’ve never read the book, so I’m completely new to this world and it’s a lot to take in. I really, really enjoyed it though, let me make that clear from the get go. It’s been a while since we’ve been introduced to world-building this immense. There are planets, people, spacecraft, politics all new and even 2 and a half hours is a short amount of time to introduce it all. For the most part, the movie did a great job at it. I know enough to give someone else (my poor husband) a terribe 5-minute pitch on the plot, but I have enough questions to make me want to pick up the book before the second movie.
What a cast, too! I still think Chalamet is overrated, although he’s a perfect choice for this role. He’s likeable, believeable as a young boy thrown into something greater than he can even comprehend, but also commands attention and respect, so I’m not complaining. As long as there are no peaches in Dune, I’ll be happy. Rebecca Ferguson plays a bigger part than I expected, and she always puts her everything into her movies so you know she’s going to be good. I had to laugh (and cry) a little when Oscar Isaac’s character admitted he never wanted to be a leader, he just wanted to be a space pilot. Star Wars was all just a dream, guys.
I’ll be looking forward to seeing Dune again at home, but a first watch just has to be at the cinema. I was only in a small screen last night and the visuals were beautiful, but the sound was even better. During the attack at night, my seat was shaking from some of the gunfire, it was incredible. It’s nights like last night that I missed the most during the cinema closures. THAT is cinema *chef’s kiss*. I think once I’m more familiar with the source material, my rating would be higher after a second watch.
Best Bit: I loved the sparse moments of humour that we got. I’m not saying every blockbuster should take the MCU approach but I’d love a bit more dry humour in the next movie. The scene where one of the Fremen meets with the Duke, and showed his respect by spitting on the floor was brilliant, and weirdly it felt like I was the only one laughing at that! Also, the dragonfly-style helicopter machines were stunning, I’ve never paid much attention to the design of spacecraft before but I love those.
Worst Bit: What did Zendaya do wrong to have to do so much promotion for this movie when she has about 5 minutes of screentime? In all honesty though the only part I really struggled with was the beginning, it was quite slow. Obviously better to be slow than to give us information overload, but still.
Fun Trivia: David Lynch, director of the previous Dune (1984), stated that he has “zero interest in Dune (2021)”. He cited that his issues with the new movie have nothing to do with director Denis Villeneuve but with his own painful memories of making the 1984 version: “Because it was a heartache for me. It was a failure and I didn’t have final cut. I’ve told this story a billion times. It’s not the film I wanted to make. I like certain parts of it very much – but it was a total failure for me.”
My Rating: 4 glasses of water which I would accept with caution from anyone on the planet Arrakis…