DUNE – Movie Review

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Dawson Sarcona

Dune Movie Poster illustration

Dawson Sarcona

The movie DUNE directed by Denis Villeneuve was a strange one, yet it provided a lot of insight and visuals for this new world. While at some points this extra information was unnecessary and unwanted, there were other moments where it truly helped in building the story. Though this movie was far from perfect and was very slow-paced, it still held my attention and provided an interesting story.

 

The first thing that stands out about this movie would have to be the special effects and design used to bring the world of DUNE to life. There are multiple scenes in the movie that highlight the futuristic creatures and ships of this world. The visual effects on the Sandworm alone are pretty great. They show details of each scale and groove in the exterior that help to show the true size and terror of this creature.

 

As for the costume designs, there are some really great features to the suits that they wear but there are also some flaws. To start with the good, the “Still Suits” they wear in order to survive the heat of the desert are done very well. For a movie that takes place in the future, the design for these suits don’t disappoint. With a filtration system that recycles sweat in order for hydration and multiple other cooling systems that would be needed for living in the desert, the movie does a good job of explaining how these work and coming back to it throughout the movie. Now, the villain’s suits are where it begins to fail for me. Throughout the movie, during overhead battle scenes, it is hard to tell which are the heroes and which are the villains, as the Empire (bad) has the same color and nearly the same design as the Atreides (good). This to me was kind of lazy and confusing.

 

The movie starts off strong, showing the average day for Paul, the Duke’s son, on his future planet. Throughout the first 15 minutes of the movie they do a good job of explaining the rules of this universe. From here, they find that their colony the House of Atreides will be relocated to the planet of Arrakis in order to harvest a rare resource. Once arriving on the planet of Arrakis the movie spends about an hour explaining the ways of this new planet, which we learn along with our main character Paul. After an attack from the Empire and Harkonnens, what’s left of the house of Atreides realizes that their relocation was a death trap. Now with no one to turn to, they must unite with the natives in order to survive. The problem with this story begins after the attack.  From here, it is very unclear what the goal or quest for the rest of movie is. And unfortunately, this is still unclear until the end of the movie which leaves you with an unsatisfied feeling. Since this is only part one of The DUNE franchise, there is still an opportunity to save this story but this film in particular felt unfinished and slow.

 

The other problem in this movie, for me, had to be the characters. The only characters that you actually feel for or relate to are the main character and his mother. When it comes to everyone else there is almost no development and/or relatability. There was a large campaign for this movie having a lot of popular actors in it, and yet some are barley in the film, with very little amounts of screen time. And throughout the various deaths in this film, there is almost no feeling involved in it. This movie truly falls short on making characters interesting and relatable. In a good story, you should feel something for each individual no matter what world or culture they are a part of.

 

Overall, I thought this movie was pretty decent and although the story and characters weren’t the best, it was an interesting story set in an interesting universe. The special effects and little amount of good characters make for a somewhat enjoyable watch. I would rate this film a 2/5.

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