I was a huge fan of the Dune series of books by Frank Herbert, so I was very excited for this new theatrical production, and in IMAX! To be fair, since my husband and I have seen the original movie many times, we couldn’t help but make comparisons.
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.
First, I thought the acting was terrific. And the art direction, scenery, sound, and special effects. In the several decades since the first Dune, technology has come a long way, and the Director did a terrific job.
But, this was not a full movie. 2 1/2 hours, and it is just part one. But not a part one like the Star Wars movies are parts one through nine, this movie ended without giving us the feeling that we had seen a whole movie. I am excited to see the second part, but this production would have been better served as a 10 hour series on HBOmax. Plus, they could have done more in the two and half hours. We saw Paul Atreides’ dreams many, many times. Twice would have been enough. And spoiler alert, it seemed like Paul’s family was on Arakis for one day before war broke out. The Shadout Mapes, a brilliant role in the first movie, was cut down to two tiny scenes. Overall it was spectacular, but the story was lacking in its scope.
The film stars Oscar nominee Timothée Chalamet (“Call Me by Your Name,” “Little Women”), Rebecca Ferguson (“Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep,” “Mission: Impossible – Fallout”), Oscar Isaac (the “Star Wars” franchise) Oscar nominee Josh Brolin (“Milk,” “Avengers: Infinity War”), Stellan Skarsgård (HBO’s “Chernobyl,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron”), Dave Bautista (the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films, “Avengers: Endgame”), Stephen McKinley Henderson (“Fences,” “Lady Bird”), Zendaya (“Spider-Man: Homecoming,” HBO’s “Euphoria”), David Dastmalchian (“Blade Runner 2049,” “The Dark Knight”), Chang Chen (“Mr. Long,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”), Sharon Duncan-Brewster (“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” Netflix’s “Sex Education”), with Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling (“45 Years,” “Assassin’s Creed”), with Jason Momoa (“Aquaman,” HBO’s “Game of Thrones”), and Oscar winner Javier Bardem (“No Country for Old Men,” “Skyfall”).
I loved the casting. Oscar Isaac was terrific, and Jason Momoa was even better. Timothee Chalamet owned the role of Paul Atreides, and Rebecca Ferguson was excellent as Lady Jessica. And that nasty Harkonnen nephew role was perfect for Dave Bautista!
Villeneuve directed “Dune” from a screenplay he co-wrote with Jon Spaihts and Eric Roth based on the novel of the same name written by Frank Herbert. Villeneuve also produced the film with Mary Parent, Cale Boyter and Joe Caracciolo, Jr. The executive producers are Tanya Lapointe, Joshua Grode, Herbert W. Gains, Jon Spaihts, Thomas Tull, Brian Herbert, Byron Merritt and Kim Herbert.
Behind the scenes, Villeneuve reteamed with two-time Oscar-nominated production designer Patrice Vermette (“Arrival,” “Sicario,” “The Young Victoria”), two-time Oscar-nominated editor Joe Walker (“Blade Runner 2049,” “Arrival,” “12 Years a Slave”), two-time Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Paul Lambert (“First Man,” “Blade Runner 2049”), and Oscar-winning special effects supervisor Gerd Nefzer (“Blade Runner 2049”). He also collaborated for the first time with Oscar-nominated director of photography Greig Fraser(“Lion,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”); three-time Oscar-nominated costume designer Jacqueline West (“The Revenant,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Quills”) and co-costume designer Bob Morgan; and stunt coordinator Tom Struthers (“The Dark Knight” trilogy, “Inception”). Oscar-winning and multiple Oscar-nominated composer Hans Zimmer (“Blade Runner 2049,” “Inception,” “Gladiator,” “The Lion King”) is creating the score.
Buy you IMAX move tickets to see Dune now!