DUUUUNE!!! Ahem. Yes. It’s finally here.
The coveted Dune movie that has been murmured about for years now; the movie that has only grown in hype and expectations with every press release, that has had an unprecedented force of talented people working behind it, that upon announcement of releasing on my birthday, Oct. 22, had aligned the stars to create an auditory, visual, narrative masterpiece of monumental scale!
Am I being hyperbolic? Maybe.
But, the truth of the matter is that I have long awaited Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of the acclaimed science fiction novel because, with his back catalog of Sicario, Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, there was no doubt that this movie would be nothing short of a sensational experience.
But what is Dune? Space politics? Weird witchcraft? Spice? Gargantuan sand worms? Dune is always hailed as The Lord of The Rings of sci-fi, but this is extremely misleading. At its core, the story of Dune is slow, bizarre, convoluted and subdued. But it’s awesome that way. In fact, it’s far more accurate to say that Dune is the Game Of Thrones of sci-fi. You’re strapped in for the long haul of intergalactic political allegory, environmentalism and philosophical discussions on the legacies we leave behind in our lives.
Okay. So what is Dune as a movie though? It’s epic is what it is. These are some of the most visually stunning scenes I’ve seen in a blockbuster ever, begging to be seen on the biggest screen you can find. Do. Not. Watch. This. At. Home. The film is absolutely star-studded, and each actor brings their best performance to the table. The much-talked-about Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica is integral to giving true emotional weight to this film. Meanwhile, Jason Momoa does a shockingly fantastic job of being the heart and soul that this story needs, playing the unequivocal suave Duncan Idaho. Of course, Timothée Chalamet does a great job as well playing our lead Paul Atreides, giving humbleness and likability to the book’s, uh, very interesting protagonist. Lastly, Hans Zimmer has yet again crafted a score that really is otherworldly. Perhaps I am biased, but I will say that this is indeed a euphoric experience for the mind, eyes and ears.
Fine, but what is the plot? The premise: A royal family takes ownership of a desolate planet with spice and big *** worms and then **** hits the fan. And that’s about all you need to know. Yeah, it’s weird. Go see it.
There is one caveat: this is only Part I.
This may be the only problem that annoys you: the fact that it ultimately ends on a cliffhanger because this is merely the first half of the entire story. To my and many others’ frustration, Warner Brothers didn’t even greenlight Part II until last week! It was as if Denis Villeneuve’s passion project was being held hostage. But, I suppose critiquing the current state of film studio heads is a conversation for another day. Nonetheless, Part II is on the way, and if you can’t wait, check out the original novel — or the bizarre 1984 adaptation that has Sting in it…for some reason.
This is a weird franchise, okay? It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Embrace its weirdness. Do not fear it. Fear is the mind-killer…