Dune or Don’t

Review of Remake of 1984 Sci-fi, Adventure Film


Photo Courtesy of Evyn Fox

Denis Villeneuve, the director of the 2021 “Dune” film, released a poorly managed film. Having a complicated and confusing plot the movie would’ve failed without it’s large spending budget. The greatest parts of the movie were the elements like CGI, music and actor selection, but it missed the mark on plot lines and acting.

Ty Cathey, Reporter

While the new movie “Dune” was full of great CGI, music design and costumes, the producers missed the mark on plot development. “Dune” included A-list celebrities such as Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Josh Brolin (who plays Thanos), and many more in this “Masterpiece.” “Dune,” which was originally a book written by Frank Herbert in 1965, became a movie adaptation in 1984 and a  mini-series in 2000. The latest adaptation of “Dune” is this two-part series with mostly positive reviews. 

My personal opinion about this movie is not so positive. Starting with the advertisement of the movie, I saw all of these A-List celebrities and thought “Wow, Zendaya is going to be in this movie,” but don’t let the trailer fool you, as you’ll only see her in the last 10 minutes. I also was expecting a solid two hours of action, as the movie was two and a half hours long, but I was rudely awoken with a painstaking hour of Chalamet’s bland expressions. I had literally fallen asleep in the movie theatre and had to rewatch the movie at home. I feel like I was given a false sense of what this movie was going to be like. 

My second grievance is the inability to grasp the full extent of the plot and its meaning. It seemed as if I started a series on episode three and was expected to understand what was happening as if I was a lifelong fan of the series. I did understand certain points, but I was unfamiliar with the book, so I didn’t understand most parts.  For example, in the opening scene, Chalamet shows off his mind control power, but gives no explanation of how he had these powers or even that it was a thing.

The movie was more than likely aimed toward people who have read the book, as it definitely left lots of plot gaps that were unclear for those who didn’t read the book. Compared to a Marvel movie, which anyone can understand even if there was untold information, in “Dune,” I could not fully pick up on all the details. 

As for the plot, there was a huge cliche of  “the chosen one,” a villain race and a planet of people thinking the chosen one is unworthy and a priceless resource everyone is fighting for, which made the plot incredibly dull due to predictability. The main part where I experienced the most boredom was the overwhelming and confusing political aspects of the film, as it didn’t provide the adventure nor Sci-Fi the movie was labeled as. One part that was extremely dull was the drawn-out, relentless and meaningless dialogue.

I can’t bash the entire movie, as it did have some very good elements. I think that the CGI hit every mark: it looked real and it made the sci-fi feel really click with the cool technology. The sound throughout the movie was fitting, and the soundtrack was just overall perfect. My favorite song was the song “Gom Jabbar,” which really gave the effect of desert and Sci-Fi at the same time.  I also really liked the costume design throughout the movie, even though I didn’t fully understand why people were dressed the way they were. It did give the perfect space sci-fi feeling, though. My favorite costume design would be Zendya’s costume as it really shows a nice wasteland vibe, while still showing her face, which seemed really creative.

Overall, I would rate this movie a four out of 10, as it was confusing, hard to follow, and did not provide adequate information to understand the concepts and plot. “Dune” did not pick up fast enough, and it felt like they could have cut pieces of the story that were not very relevant. For me, the movie was really just a $20 nap and a waste of another two hours at home.