Dune and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures
Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Dune is just one of those things that I’ve only ever known from the outside looking in; like modern art trends or Homestuck. I never read the book but I have seen the David Lynch movie which is… well it’s certainly in the ballpark of what I’d imagine a David Lynch space opera to be, but it still took me two or three viewings before I could even grasp what was going on; especially when the second half just sped through years of its plot in a few quick montages. Eventually though, I got the gist of it and there are things about the world that I did like even if I found quite a bit of it to be rather flawed and overly convoluted. Perhaps Warner Bros had the same idea when they greenlit this remake as I doubt they’d put as much money as they did into a project as esoteric as David Lynch’s weird little sci-fi epic. Then again, with the way Warner Bros has been acting recently, it’s hard to tell where their head is at and what we can expect from anything they put out anymore. Is this a worthwhile adaptation of one of Science Fiction’s most esoteric classics? Let’s find out!!
If you’re still in the dark as to what this whole DUNE thing is about, then brace yourselves as this will be a bit much to take in and yet still only scratching the surface! At its core, it’s the story of two great houses IN SPACE; The Harkonnens and the Atreides. The Harkonnens have been running a Spice plant on the planet Arrakis for generations on behalf of the Galactic Empire, but since Galactic Empires can’t help themselves from stirring the pot now and again, they’ve decreed that the Harkonnens will no longer run Arrakis and that Atreides will run the Spice plant instead; a task that involves managing very tense relationships with the native people of the planet known as the Fremen. Spice by the way is… a lot to get into; just imagine that it’s Space Oil and also Peyote as it allows ships to fly across the galaxy while ALSO getting you super high! What it ultimately serves as is for the plot is a resource that the two families are fighting over that they only partially understand, and the young prince of the Atreides family Paul (Timothée Chalamet) is your typical sci-fi and Fantasy hero who bears the burden of his family’s name and has a greater destiny that he is not truly aware of yet. To go much further than that would be getting into the second half of Dune while this movie only covers the first half, so essentially it’s a power dispute between two great houses over control of this planet that ends up being the starting point for a greater journey that Paul has to take that could shake the Galactic Empire to its core! Will the Atreides, led by Duke Leto (Oscar Isaac), be able to fill in the shoes left by Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgård) and produce enough Spice on the harsh desert planet of Arrakis? What threats must they face on the planet, and are some of them coming from much closer than they expect? I know it’s a different sci-fi universe, but do you think we can just call Paul a Jedi and be done with it? I mean we can beat around the bush with names like Kwisatz Haderach and groups like the Bene Gesserit, but frankly, I’m giving Lucas a point here for keeping his sci-fi buzzwords short and punchy.Continue reading “Cinema Dispatch: Dune”