Dune is a sci-fi epic, following House Atreides after the Padishah Emperor demands they take control of the dangerous spice planet, Arrakis. Duke Atreides accepts the Emperor’s call, but suspects the order is given with sinister intentions. Let’s consider the pros and cons of Dune…
Pros: Although the CGI and set pieces steal the movie many times over, the seasoned cast gives one hell of a performance! Timothée Chalamet is a natural lead and shows a wide range throughout, but Stellan Skarsgård’s portrayal of Baron Harkonnen is particularly menacing! Kudos to the makeup department that helped bring his dreadful character to life! Secondly, is the direction from Denis Villeneuve. The cinematography is not only stunning, but each shot is well balanced, if not completely symmetrical. This makes the entire experience extremely aesthetically pleasing, which is always nice. Lastly and definitely worth mentioning is the memorable score from Hans Zimmer. The tone could not be better set for this grand space opera!
Cons: As is the case with many adaptations, Dune suffers from an expansive universe who’s surface is barely scratched. Even with a lengthy 2.5 hour runtime, minimal lulls and lots of exposition, it’s clear that this is an incomplete story. Villeneuve admitted as much himself in a recent interview, but the criticism still stands. Whether it’s due to the unwieldly source material or studio interference, the movie ends on more of an intermission than a climax. Generally, I think filmmakers strive to leave the audience wanting more after the credits roll, but this is taking it a bit far!
I give Dune a B+. Villeneuve aims for the stars and overall, this movie lives up to those expectations. Eventually and hopefully inevitably we will be graced with a Dune Part 2, but even so, this is an experience you won’t want to miss. Happy Watching!
- CGI / Effects
“My desert, my Arrakis, my dune.”