fatpie42’s review published on Letterboxd:
Villeneuve really knows how to make a film look impressive, but he absolutely sucks as a storyteller.
Timothy Chalamet gives the most lifeless performance of the central character of Paul Atreides imaginable. Even with his hand in the box of pain, he seems bored and emotionless.
Seriously, I am not even joking.... David Lynch's version was better.
In the book there are plenty of moments where we need to know the internal thoughts of the characters to really understand the level of threat. To portray this, Lynch often uses voice-over to reveal the thoughts of the characters and give us insight into their hidden fears.
Also, as they take on their new role of mining and distributing the Spice on Arrakis, there is a deep mistrust and a sense that even being given this task by the emperor is a trap.
In this new adaptation, we barely even glimpse any kind of emotion or personality in the characters. The idea that they are in danger on Arrakis is suggested but never felt, because this is a story being told with no sense of feelings or drama.
Villeneuve knows how to use visuals to elicit awe and wonder, but the story of Dune is about more than surface level visuals. And that is why this is a terrible adaptation.
Listen to Iron Maiden's "To Tame A Land" to get a feel for the epic world a Dune adaptation should aspire to convey. I'm not saying that Lynch's version succeeded, but it got a hell of a lot closer than this utter bore-fest. What a waste!