There is nothing groundbreaking about Dune (think special effects or storytelling). But every technique invoked was done in the proper manner. I was beyond satisfied with every choice made in production. Cinematography, music, acting, editing… it was all done right.
I cannot emphasize enough of how pleased I was with this adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 sci-fi novel. While I had not read the book (beyond the first two chapters), friends raved about the adaptation being everything they could ask for.
I also had not screened the 1984 adaptation helmed by David Lynch, but I was aware of its poor reception. This is not intended to be a single film, as the novel was the first in a series, and we saw no sequel to Lynch’s version, which should tell us everything we need to know about its quality. However, director David Vellineveu (whose previous films include Arrival and Blade Runner 2049) has delivered a film that makes us eagerly await its next installments. I would say it is the equivalent of a perfectly pitched TV pilot.
Perhaps what I was most impressed by was the explanations for intricate details and rules for this universe without breaking the fourth wall. It was as if we were conveniently learning everything in preparation for future events without making it obvious and cringeworthy. There is also the establishment of Zendaya’s character. Although her formal performances are reserved for the end of the movie, she appears through interwoven vignettes throughout the film, conveying her importance.
I cannot review any further without giving away spoilers, even in the slightest manner (I know many people who would react to a minor revelation in a manner equivalent to Frank Costanza on Seinfeld: “I like to go in fresh!”)
In short, the ticket is worth every penny and the trip to the theater is worth every second spent away from home.