Review: Dune (Movie)

Lady Jessica Atreides: I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings obliteration. I will face my fear and I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past… I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

Wow. That’s a movie with quite a sense of scale and granduer. The ships are huge, the worms are huge, the armies are huge, the Duke is honorable, the Fremen are pious, the Baron is gross, everything is spectacular. It’s a bit of a bummer that we’re going to have to wait a few years for Part 2, but I think it really did need the space to breath.

The worldbuilding and visuals are what really makes this movie. I watched it on HBOMax, rather than in theaters, but I do have a wall sized projected screen and that really does help. It’s quite a visually stunning movie. If they re-run Part 1 in theaters, I may have to check it out next time around…

Plotwise, it follows the book well enough, if the first half. It’s a crazy story and they had to adapt a few bits in order to make it fit into the film media, but that’s always the case. Review of the book (read in 2019), if that helps: Dune

Castingwise, Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides and Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica Atreides really really work. It’s a more emotional Lady Jessica, but I think that works the story well enough. Oscar Isaac does the honorbound and ‘good guy’ Duke Leto Atreides well, as does his counterpoint in Stellan Skarsgård as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen–not quite as bad as previous iterations, but still dark. Overall, a well cast movie. Nothing I would change. One last, Jason Momoa as Duncan Idaho is a pleasant surprise, but I always love him–after Stargate especially.

Duncan Idaho: Look at you. Put on some muscle?

Paul Atreides: I did?

Duncan Idaho: No.

That’s actually an interesting point. Tonally, this is so different from recent big blockbusters, like the Marvel Movies for example. There’s barely any lighthearted quipping (that’s about it above). IT does make for a dense move, but it fits the feel.

Overall, that is a good movie. I think that the biggest negative that I can see is that it feels like half a movie–because it is. I do sorely hope they’ll stick the landing with part two.