The Best Half-Movie in Ages

by | Aug 3, 2022 | Movies & TV | 0 comments

If you are of a certain age and sci-fi prediliction, you’ve likely seen the 1984 oeuvre by David Lynch simply entitled: Dune. It was based on a novel by the same name, written by Frank Herbert, in much the same way that the movie Battleship was based on the board game. That is to say, it took the concept, took some liberties, and ran with it.

Disclaimer: I like and appreciate the 1984 movie, despite its cringeworthy elements, clunky storytelling, and departures from the novel.

We’re not here to talk about that movie (beyond what’s already been said). I’d like to address the 2021 Dune movie by the same name.

This adaptation is only half the first Dune novel.

For those who’ve never experienced Dune in any form …

**SPOILERS AHEAD**


I’ll try to keep the spoilers light. The movie ends just as Paul and Jessica venture off on their own (or shortly thereafter). The primary conflict centers around the Atreides takeover of Arrakis and the Harkkonen attempts to sabotage and undermine them.

It’s a slow movie, at times even ponderous. But this isn’t an action movie, despite plentiful action scenes. It’s a sci-fi epic, and it takes both those characteristics to heart. Dune (2021) doesn’t skimp on the feeling of scope inherent in a planetary takeover, of giant ships transporting smaller ships transporting yet smaller ships transporting legions of troops. The technology feels lived-in, adapted to its setting, and comfortable in the hands of its characters. If sitting through scenes that evoke awe and wonder instead of squeezing the adrenal glands isn’t your thing, this won’t be your kind of movie.

Unlike the older film (which, as you’ll recall, we’ve stopped talking about), the casting is universally spot on. The settings are visually stunning.You can get the feeling of relationships from the characters just by how they react to one another, even when there’s no dialogue.

If there is a downside to Dune (2021), it’s that whole half-novel business. The rise and fall of the tension is broken a little by the artificial insertion of a midpoint ending, moreso than a movie that has a full plot but also sets up for a sequel. Still, knowing that going in, you’re at least prepared for the semi-random ending.

If you’ve been sitting on the fence about this one, sit on the side with popcorn and a streaming service. It’s worth a watch.

As of writing this, you can stream Dune for free with an HBO Max subscription or rent it on Vudu or Amazon Prime.

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