I have to start by saying that I enjoyed the 1984 David Lynch Dune movie and I have even dabbled in a few of the games over the years. When I heard that Denis Villeneuve was going to be the director as well as have a hand in the writing, I was very excited. I was also excited to see this movie as the trailers were excellent, so much so that my 13-year-old son really wanted to go and see it too.
How to Stream or Download Dune
You can stream Dune if you have access to HBO Max. Click on the Download button located below this review. If you like Denis Villeneuve’s films, check out also our reviews of Arrival (2016), and Blade Runner 2049 (2017).
The Movie Review
As I have never read Frank Herbert’s Dune novel, I do have to take that this new 2021 Dune is very faithful to it at face value. What I can tell you is that this is the kind of movie that has to be seen on the big screen and I have two very different reasons as to why I feel this way.
The first reason is that Dune is one of the most visually stunning movies that I have ever seen! The CG work here along with the sets and the practical effects are truly outstanding and deserve to be seen in a movie theatre. So far, Dune is the best-looking movie that I have seen this year!
The other reason I think this needs to be seen on the big screen is down to the story. This is a very dialogue-heavy kind of movie (as you would expect from Villeneuve) and I think if you were watching this at home with the distraction of your phone, the kids, or something else it would be a very hard movie to follow.
The movie takes place in the far future where our hero, Paul Atreides (Timothy Chalamet) is being groomed for a great purpose by his mother and father. The story is basically about the protection of the most valuable resource in the galaxy, Spice and the House of Atreides is willing to do whatever it takes to protect it.
A great deal of the story is about politics and people trying to make moves to ensure that they stay in control. Our main villains in Stellan Skarsgårdas Baron Vladimir Harkonnen who could not be any creepier and Dave Bautista as his vile and violent nephew, Beast Rabban Harkonnen are fantastic. I will have a hard time seeing Dave Bautista as the fun Drax after this!
Actually, if you have seen the trailer, you know that this movie has an amazing ensemble cast. Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya, Jason Momoa, Josh Brolin, and Javier Barden are some of the most recognizable names. I just wish that Zendaya had a bigger role, she plays a major part in the trailer and her narration opens the movie, but we mostly see her in dream sequences.
There are some great action scenes in Dune and as I said it is a real visual treat and with a runtime of just over two and a half hours, it packs a lot in. The thing is, this is actually Dune Part 1 and as a result, the second half of the movie feels like it is building up to something that never quite comes. It is almost like they did not know where to end it.
I thought that Dune was a very well-made and well-acted movie. I was entertained by what I saw, but I will admit going into this I was not aware it was “part 1” as a result the ending did disappoint me as it felt like it just ends. If you know going in that there is more to come, you will probably have a much better time with it. My son liked the action, but he did say he felt it lasted a bit too long so that is something to consider if you have kids.