Movie Review: ‘Dune’ sets stage for ambitious start

By Thomas Stodghill, IV

When film studios set out to make a book adaptation, staying close to the source material is often a crucial component. In some cases, one movie is not enough to fit the whole book.

The 2021 adaptation of “Dune” took this route, and it is not afraid to say so. For this movie being only part one, this is a good and ambitious start. It is not perfect, and this movie is a long one, but I think this version can do something great.

The movie, set in the future of 10191, follows Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) as he and his family are forced into a war for the desert planet of Arrakis. Meanwhile, Paul struggles with constantly seeing visions of his future, some of which come to fruition.

I thought the story is interesting, but sometimes unevenly paced. This movie has great world building, but I want to see more of the story. It is neat to see Paul’s heroic journey, but this movie can feel like a tease at times of something greater.

One thing that the movie does right is the cast. This is an all-star cast, and they do a good job with the material. Some highlights include Oscar Isaac, Dave Bautista, Zendaya and Rebecca Ferguson.

The other part of this movie I love is that it is a gorgeous movie. Even in the desert, this movie has great visual effects and cinematography. This movie often reminded me of other movies, such as “Mad Max” or “Star Wars.”

I also appreciate the ambitious scope of this movie. While the story is far from perfect, the story still can pull you into the gigantic world. It is a living, breathing world with different races, languages and species.

Part one of the 2021 adaptation of “Dune” is a good movie overall but be prepared for a long one. You should also be prepared to go see part two of the movie in 2023. 

“Dune” (2021) is now showing in theatres and on HBO Max.


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