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Dune - Movie Review

Dune

Continuing his string of slow-burn, meditative science fiction films, director Denis Villeneuve’s version of Dune has finally given the epic tale a much-deserved justice. Now…I am not here to drag David Lynch’s Dune (1984) through the dirt with a boat load of low-blow comparisons. (In fact, I think even Lynch would prefer that we forget that his version was even made.)

"this film absolutely rules. The next big film franchise has arrived in a glorious fashion"


But in a time where the success of the original Star Wars trilogy, with all of its ground-breaking special effects, had literally changed the film world with its achievements, it seemed that perhaps the world would embrace a “Star Wars for grownups.” But alas, as we know, that was not the case. So, nearly forty years since Lynch’s attempt with Universal, Villeneuve and Warner Brothers have revitalized the franchise with an overwhelming success.

In the year 10191, the desert planet of Arrakis contains one of the most valuable substances for human vitality and interstellar travel: spice. The mysterious Emperor has set Duke Leto of House Atreides (Oscar Isaac) to take over the rule of Arrakis from Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgård) and become allies with the native population, the Fremen. But the political transfer is not all that it seems, when House Atreides is ambushed by House Harkonnen in the night, soon after their arrival on Arrakis.

Caught in the middle of all of this is Leto’s son, Paul (Timothée Chalamet), who is also experiencing ominous and terrifying visions of his family’s future as well as his own, with Fremen native, Chani (Zendaya) ever present in them. With two birthrights, Paul is overwhelmed by the political duties from his father but also from his mother Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), who has trained him in the Bene Gesserit ways that consist of a type of advanced – and exhausting – mental abilities. Suffice it to say…Paul is going through a lot.Dune

I know…the film sounds overwhelming, but trust me: Villeneuve does an excellent job establishing the world, without creating too much confusion in trying to keep track of all the different houses/communities. In a film that could have easily felt like a convoluted exposition dump, the director is careful to avoid that. Keeping extremely close to Paul Atreides’ perspective on the vast universe, any and all world-building is so naturally and easily introduced. He invites us into a totally epic world and continues to fully immerse us in it. Much to the likes of Christopher Nolan films, along with his own previous projects like Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, the scale of the film is completely mind-blowing. It was absolutely made to be seen on the big screen, and frankly, it should only be watched that way.

A star-studded cast delivering top-tier performances - a Hans Zimmer’s score that is absolutely electrifying - fantastic costumes and production design - all under the excellent leadership and vision of Villeneuve, this film absolutely rules. The next big film franchise has arrived in a glorious fashion.

Dune is now playing in theaters and on HBO Max. (But please see it in a theater).

4/5 stars

 Film Details

Dune

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of strong violence, some disturbing images and suggestive material.
Runtime:
155 mins
Director
: Denis Villeneuve
Writer:
Jon Spaihts; and Denis Villeneuve; and Eric Roth
Cast:
Timothée Chalamet; Rebecca Ferguson; Zendaya
Genre
: Action | Sci-fi
Tagline:
Beyond fear, destiny awaits.
Memorable Movie Quote: "The test is simple. Remove your hand from the box, and you die."
Theatrical Distributor:
Warner Bros.
Official Site: https://www.warnerbros.com/movies/dune
Release Date:
October 22, 2021
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis: Feature adaptation of Frank Herbert's science fiction novel, about the son of a noble family entrusted with the protection of the most valuable asset and most vital element in the galaxy.

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