Dune ★★★½


Timothee Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson have more sexual tension than any on screen duo i've seen in at least a decade. 

Zendaya, on the other hand, is like something out of a lifetime movie, and her brief on-screen time with Timothee is completely devoid of chemistry.

Dune is what it is: a bad Dune movie, a pretty enjoyable big budget sci-fi flick.

It's nice to actually see a sci-fi movie that isn't perpetual action, even if all the complex ideas and themes have been stripped from the source—even a crude facsimile of written sci-fi, complete with constant awkward worldbuilding exposition, is enjoyably refreshing in our current cinematic climate.

I'm glad Dune exists. I'm glad it's a success. I enjoy it for what it is. But, like The Martian, the best thing about Dune is what kind of a precedent-setter it might end up being.
In a post-Dune world, maybe we can get a film that's what everyone hoped Dune just might be.

Other thoughts:
• The soundtrack is spectacular! Quite possibly Hans Zimmer's best! 
• The film is very pretty, despite being quite uncreative. The scale is insane—even if some of it, such as the worm, feels inconsistent—and it's easily some of the best large scale CGI ever.
• Rebecca Ferguson and Dave Bautista absolutely kill their roles. Bautista especially deserves some kind of award.
• Oscar Isaac is surprisingly weak. But i blame the script.
• The script is one of the worst in recent memory, and everyone sounds like they're reading first draft dialogue.
• A few scenes in this one are way closer to the Lynch movie than is able to be put down to coincidence. A couple scenes border on shot for shot remakes of scenes from the lynch film.
• It's halfway (but only halfway) interesting that Villeneuve took the Arabian Nights aesthetic of the source material and updated it to a more grimy, dusty modern Iraq/Afghanistan aesthetic, reflecting the more modern view of the middle east as desolate and drab, rather than mystical and exotic.

Overall, PG13 popcorn Dune is alright. Not amazing, but better than it really has any right to be.

Well done Denis, you surpassed my expectations.

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