“Dune” is the Best Sci-Fi Film in years


Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” is an adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic science fiction novel of the same name from 1965. 

Since the release of the novel, many filmmakers have failed to adapt it for the silver screen such as Andrei Jodorowsky who’s ambitious vision was never made (I highly recommend the documentary “Jodorowsky’s Dune”) and David Lynch who directed the 1984 version which was a studio disaster that even he hates. So is Villeneuve’s “Dune” the adaptation we’ve been waiting for?

For at least the past year since the first trailer, I have been extremely excited about this film. So excited that I was scared that I was getting too hyped, too ready to love it, and ultimately setting myself up for disappointment. But when I sat in the third row of that IMAX theater (perfect seats by the way), this was an experience I couldn’t have predicted.

“Dune” isn’t exactly for everyone: it can be a little slow, can lack a little heart, and since it only adapts the first half of the novel, it isn’t exactly a complete story. But this film has an extremely specific and wholly unique vibe that I totally felt connected to. 

Denis Villeneuve is a great director that has made many films that I love: “Prisoners,” “Arrival,” and “Blade Runner 2049” are three of my favorite films (Sicario and Enemy ain’t bad either) but “Dune” might just be the best thing he’s made yet. As a lifelong fan of the novel, Villeneuve’s vision and passion for the source material shines through the film.

Every shot and every scene is so meticulously crafted that you can tell it came from Villeneuve’s real artistic effort to make every aspect the best it can be, unlike many other modern blockbuster films. It’s the film equivalent of expecting a Big Mac and receiving a gourmet burger made by Gordon Ramsey himself.

The cast all give great performances. Timothee Chalamet, Oscar Isaac, and Rebecca Ferguson are great as the central Atreides family but Jason Momoa is the standout as the extremely fun Duncan Idaho, who I now want to have his own HBO Max show.

The best part of the film though is the astounding visuals. The cinematography, the beautiful Sci-Fi designs, the sets, and the massive scale of it all just completely blew me away. You’ll hear this from every review (I seriously can’t emphasize this enough) but this is a movie that needs to be seen on the biggest screen possible. At times, the movie drags and you can feel its length but at no point was it boring, some moments may have been if not for the stunning visuals.

I have but 3 problems with “Dune:”

  1. It’s half a movie. That in itself is not a flaw as I can see this and the future Part 2 working as a package deal like the “Kill Bill” duology. My problem is that I’m sad I can’t watch Part 2 next week.
  2. There is not much I missed from the Lynch version, except the pug. I miss Paul’s pug.
  3. There is a certain heart that I feel is missing, the emotions that would drive most stories are extremely subtle and it can be hard to connect with the characters at times.

All in all, “Dune” is my favorite film of 2021 so far. It will cure your depression but might make it worse now that you have to wait two years for Part Two.

Rating: 4.5/5