Movie Reviews

Dune (2021)

dune-movie-poster-review-2021Director: 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.

dune-movie-2021-timeothee-chalamet-rebecca-ferguson

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…

dune-review-2021-recycled-water

23 thoughts on “Dune (2021)

  1. Villeneuve is just the worst film-maker, imo. Really wanted to like this because Dune is my favourite book, but I hated it so much. I was hoping Part 2 would have Gareth Edwards or Ridley Scott as director (or literally anyone else), but it looks like Villeneuve is set to come back *sigh*

    Lynch’s version takes a lot of creative liberties with the book but stays very true to it in most respects. It’s a pure Lynch film and I love Lynch so I love it. But the 2000 Sci-Fi Channel mini-series remains the best adaptation in terms of accuracy and I also love that one!

    Like

    1. Ahh no, I love Villeneuve! For no particular reason, I’ve just really enjoyed all of his movies – I didn’t go out of my way to see them all.
      I definitely want to see the Lynch version too, though!

      Like

      1. I’ve seen all of Villeneuve’s feature films and the only ones I liked were August 32nd on Earth and Maelstrom. His sci-fi movies are just painful to watch for me. His Next Floor short film is pretty good too.

        Like

  2. I am in love with this film. I wouldn’t recommend David Lynch’s version even though I love David Lynch but even he hated his version of Dune and the extended versions made w/o his permission and input. It just condenses the story too greatly as it feels like so much got left out and there’s not enough development.

    Zendaya’s role as Chani is a big deal as we will see more of her in the 2nd film.

    I would totally recommend watching Jodorowsky’s Dune about Alejandro Jodorowsky’s attempt to make the film in mid-1970s as it doesn’t reveal too much about the plot but it’s more about his ideas and how insane it was that it scared the fuck out of Hollywood. I am now elated over the fact that his graphic novel The Incals might be made under the direction of Taika Waititi.

    Like

    1. Dune is top 5 Lynch for me. The costumes, set designs, atmosphere, casting… it is all perfect to me. The Spicediver fanedit is really good but I still prefer the theatrical version.

      Jodorowsky’s Dune is fantastic, I really wish Jodorowsky got to finish it. It seemed like absolute insanity. But I loved seeing all of the drawings and storyboards for it in the documentary.

      Lynch > Spicediver > Sci-Fi Channel >>> Villeneuve

      Like

      1. Seriously? Even with how awful the Harkkonens looked? They looked like fucking cartoons. How could I take them seriously as a threat? At least Villeneuve made them look threatening.

        Like

    2. “Seriously? Even with how awful the Harkkonens looked? They looked like fucking cartoons.” I loved Lynch’s twisted interpretation of the Dune universe and Jodorowsky’s seemed just as twisted and insane. What I couldn’t take seriously was Villeneuve’s Harkonnen’s. Skarsgård’s laughable Marlon Brando imitation, Batista’s over-the-top hilarious yelling, and a nothing performance by Dastmalchian as Piter. I don’t really blame the actors though. I just think Villeneuve is the worst director working today.

      Like

  3. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

    I think the book is definitely worth a read. Even if it’s not your cup of tea I was surprised by how easy I found it to get through considering how big it is 🙂 Though it helped I could just picture the actors in character! Can’t wait to see what Villeneuve does with part 2.

    Like

  4. I was planning to read the book before watching the film, but found it too dense and layered to finish in a short time, haha. Will be catching it on streaming!

    Like

  5. You and I were in the same boat with not reading the book nor seeing the other film. I’m glad you liked it do! It’s easily one of my favorites of the year so far. I’ve already watched it twice thanks to HBO Max .

    Like

  6. Just saw this myself. I’ve seen the previous film version and read all the books and I really enjoyed it. The only thing I didn’t like is having to wait TWO YEARS for part 2!!

    Like

  7. I enjoyed this one despite its slowness, I think overall it meets my expectations and then some. Yeah Zendaya made it seem like she had more screen time in this movie in the way she’s been promoting the film, but well she does have a ton of fans and for sure she’ll have plenty of screen time in the sequel.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.