Does Dune Have the Spice Needed to be a Hit?

Dune 2021 Movie Review

It seems we are currently in the time of remakes when it comes to movies. And while a lot of fans will question if their favorite movie needs a remake – when it comes to Dune, a lot of fans are excited to see if this version finally does it justice. The most popular version of the story is still the 1984 version, with all of it’s (now) campy graphics and weird story elements. But with an updated version of the story coming to the screen this weekend – fans are curious if the movie will live up to their hopes or if it will be another failed adaptation of the book.

Dune follows Paul, the “chosen one” and his mother Jessica. Both very easy to remember names on alien worlds and in the year 10,191. Their family has been sent to the Arrakis by the Emporer to take over the spice industry, and despite knowing that they have been set up to fail (and most likely be murdered) the family takes the charge and moves to the other plant. It’s not long before the inevitable happens, and Paul’s father (the Duke) is killed, the Spice “factory” is taken over, and pretty much everyone they know is murdered. Paul and Jessica are taken to be left in the desert and killed by sandworms – while the Baron takes over the world and the spice production again.

As far as graphics and acting go – Dune is an improvement on the last version. There’s no doubt that Dune has an amazing cast and their casting of several characters makes sense. While Jason Mamoa plays a great Duncan Idaho (another name that we just couldn’t get over), it was hard to not see him just playing Ronon from Stargate Atlantis in this role.

Gone are the blocky almost clip art shields of the 80’s version. The CGI shields are much better than you’d expect, and the biomimicry used to create the dragonfly ships may be one of the most interesting parts of the movie. The movie’s weird blend of future tech and almost ancient design at the same time puts it squarely in the sci-fi futuristic realm where minimalism reverts back to several centuries for architectural and clothing design.

Long story short (and really long story here coming in at 2 hours and 35 minutes), the movie tells almost the same story as the 1984 version. But… doesn’t. It uses Paul’s visions to imply futures and show what is to come, but it doesn’t actually happen in this movie. The film also cuts off at a point in the story that leads viewers to question – why end here? The obvious answer – they’re making this story a series. So yes, you have to sit through over two hours for only half of the story of the 80’s version of the film. Is this story strong enough to make it an epic series? Time will only tell but it seemed like the film took too long to go almost nowhere when there wasn’t much that had happened and there were only 20 minutes left of that extremely long run time.

Dune is in theaters on October 22nd and will be streaming on HBO Max at the same time.

Overall Rating:

Three Stars Review

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About DUNE: 

(In theaters and HBO Max) Oscar nominee Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival,” “Blade Runner 2049”) directs Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ “Dune,” the big-screen adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seminal bestseller of the same name. A mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey, “Dune” tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence—a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential—only those who can conquer their fear will survive. 

Starring Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista,Stephen McKinley Henderson, Zendaya, Chang Chen, David Dastmalchian, Sharon Duncan‐Brewster, with Charlotte Rampling, with Jason Mamoa and Javier Bardem

Directed by Denis Villeneuve

Rated PG-13


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