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.
Director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Blade Runner 2049) takes Dune (2021) and elevates science fiction action adventures to the next level. In this space drama over the right to freedom and the fight for resources, you’re introduced to a whole new world thousands of years into the future of human civilization. There have been stories told about interstellar travel before, but this feature creates a different form of escapism and is grounded in a sense that not only is relatable but feels tangible for the distant future.
The most important thing about seeing Dune is watching it on the largest screen possible, preferably IMAX. Villeneuve takes full advantage of the 70mm aspect ratio to deliver you one of the biggest, clearest images that money can buy. The cinematography here really does define how magnificent his achievement is when he crafted this film. To say the set designs, technology, gadgets, space crafts, etc. are gigantic is an understatement. Ranging from the size of planets to space ships, with the sheer size and scope for this entire film it really does shine a new light on how tiny our human understanding is on how large and vast the universe is.
The cast in this film is another standout for sure. It’s flooded with some of Hollywood’s greatest stars, and there are too many to mention each by name. Who stood out the most were Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet), and his father Duke Leto Atreides (Oscar Isaac). This father-son relationship and dynamic were truly remarkable. You could feel the reverence and love Paul had for his father and the level of responsibility and duty Duke had for his son. The mutual respect they had for one another, while also not blurring the lines between their blood relationship and politics, was simply flawless.
The film does contain a worthy amount of action and adventure throughout as well. Some of those moments are a casual experience as you sit back and enjoy all the bombastic noises surrounding all of your senses, while others have you at the edge of your seat in anticipation. There could’ve been a little more action for a two-hour and thirty-minute runtime, but the overall experience here was to develop the characters and introduce the audience to a whole new experience at life far far away. While some of it was lost in translation the lore of the franchise was easy to follow for the most part, but a second viewing may be necessary to fully comprehend the gravity of the story and why everything works the way it does.
With so many fantastic cast members there’s a lot of deaths that were unexpected. So it’s saddening to say those roles won’t be back in the sequel (or maybe they will, I’m honestly not sure), but what matters most is that they did stand out and will be missed. That just goes to show how attached you may become to their characters and is a testament to how great they were. In the end, it just leaves you wanting more ending on a cliffhanger while simultaneously leaving a respectful conclusion, and as a newcomer to the franchise, all I can say is that I’m excited for what comes next!