Thursday, October 21, 2021

Dune (2021) - Movie Review

The Movie: Dune (2021)

The Director: Denis Villeneuve

The Cast: Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Zendaya, Chang Chen, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa, Javier Bardem

The Story: Feature adaptation of Frank Herbert's science fiction novel, about the son of a noble family entrusted with the protection of the most valuable asset and most vital element in the galaxy.

The Review:
I am going to start this review by saying this is one of the most amazing visual achievements within the science fiction genre and maybe within all of cinema. every frame of this film is a stunning work of art with equal amounts of praise going to director Denis Villeneuve, cinematographer Greig Fraser, and every single person in the visual effects department whether practical or digital. You absolutely must see this on the biggest screen you can find and no I don't mean the one you have hanging on your wall at home, I mean a real cinema screen in a real movie theater with a real sound system, the kind that will shake the entire building and melt your brain as it tries to absorb all of the things.

As I'm heaping all of the praise on how the movie looks, I have to say that I felt the movie overall is just okay. Sure, it's an experience to look at, but for me that wasn't enough to hold up a lackluster story that is essentially a prologue to what I understand is a much larger galaxy of storytelling that we will see in future installments. The movie is two hours and thirty five minutes long. That's one hundred and fifty five minutes of precious time to be sitting and watching a story that could easily have been told in 60 minutes. No, I'm not joking or exaggerating. When you really think about it, not much at all really happens over the course of the movie.

The director makes every effort to take as much time as possible and lets every single scene sit for as long as it possibly can before moving on. There is no urgency whatsoever, even during the big action sequences. Then the more dramatic moments would come to a screeching halt and each one kept leaving me thankful that they looked so amazing otherwise I might have totally checked out. I think the best way I can describe the mood of this movie is that it is what Star Wars would have been if George Lucas had been depressed and sad instead of enthusiastic and optimistic. Oddly enough, I also had the thought that the movie is a more literal and somber translation of Ralph McQuarrie's original concept art for Star Wars.

It's important to understand that this story is part one of what should be multiple movies and it very much feels like a setup and not a complete or finished narrative. Sure, other franchises have done this before, the most obvious example being The Fellowship of the Ring although that movie absolutely stands on it's own as a fulfilling and worthwhile experience even if it is left open ended. The ending of Dune feels much more incomplete and a lot less satisfying experience that does little more than dazzle you with flashy lights and epic sized visual theatrics.

The Verdict:
Dune is a gigantic and beautifully rendered science fiction experience that falls short of greatness with a story that is stretched thin yet feels excessively bloated and then comes to an abrupt end without actually finishing any part of what it began.

Check out the Podcast!

No comments :

Post a Comment

The Hot List