Dune Review2022-02-24T15:43:31+00:00

I was pretty excited to have Dune be remade. I really enjoyed the 1984 version of Dune and I loved the books when I was 16. As always there are some worries about how the text will be interpreted based on ‘modern’ thinking. I started to watch it and thought “This has the spaceships of Arrival and the Cinematography of Bladerunner” – only to look and realise they were all directed by the same person, Denis Villeneuve.

Now not only has Denis Villeneuve created Dune, Arrival and Bladerunner 2049 – he also directed Prisoners, which I almost fell asleep in it was so boring.

Dune Bagpipes

Dune Bagpipes

Before I get any further though I need to say this. Dune Bagpipes.... What the F*ck? To be honest the whole music thing was a bit off-kilter (some pun intended). I absolutely hated the tribal music - whoever came up with that should be sent to Dune and eaten by a worm, But the bagpipes were some of the worst things I've heard coming out of AirPod Pros ever. Really, avoid bagpipes in all future films. Please.

Dune Casting

In my view, casting can make or break a film. I'd not like to be in charge of it at all. You can pick newcomers, but then maybe they don't really sell the movie, or you can try the flavour of the month in this case a sickly sweet bland vanilla ice cream by the name of Zendaya.

Josh Brolin Dune as Gurney Halleck

Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck worked well. He's got presence, can act (useful) and came across as genuine. I loved Josh in the Goonies when I was a kid, and to be fair to him he's done some good things and looked after himself.

Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica Atreides

Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica Atreides worked well. Moving deftly from femme fatal in Mission impossible to Bene Gesserit Sister. Okay I get that. Bought it. Some of the scenes were a bit too self servingly dark though.

Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides

I'm still a bit torn on Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides. I don't think having seen him in "Lady Bird" helped or "Don't Look Up". He didn't really exhibit anything, to be honest, other than a petulant child. I can't remember how old Paul is in the book, but Kyle MacLachlan was better. Sorry I had to say it. I was also going to write something rude about this particular face Timothée Chalamet is pulling, but thought better of it.

Where the hell was the Emperor's daughter?

Virginia Madsen as Princess Irulan

The guild navigators were utterly boring. And where the hell was the Emperor's daughter?! I think that's what got my teenage self interested. That and the original dramatic music (which I even bought on CD).

Jason Momoa as Duncan Idaho

I wasn't a fan of Jason Momoa in Game of Thrones. I wasn't a fan of him in Dune either. Basically, I am not a fan.

Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica Atreides.

A better one of Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica Atreides. Though looking through a few examples her principal role seems to be to look concerned or nervous.

Zendaya as Chani

Zendaya as Chani didn't work for me either. Far too trendy and 'in the now' to be bothered with this casting.

Sharon Duncan-Brewster

Whoever this person is. She was rubbish.

Dave Bautista as Glossu Rabban Harkonnen

Here's Dave Bautista as Glossu Rabban Harkonnen. I've lightened this one up as I'm getting bored of Denis Villeneuve's dark moody shots. Now I did not like Dave Bautista in GotG at all. Nor in the weird, rubbish zombie film in Las Vegas. But he shines here and is a really good Glossu Rabban Harkonnen. A bit like when I saw Chris Hemsworth in Thor and hated him, but he was perfect in Extraction, Rush and the unofficial voice over for Forza. Some people are just made for roles. Others are cast in the wrong ones and don't quite fit.

Dune Ship Design

Dune Guild Navigator Ship

I think this is a Guild Navigator ship. It looks pretty cool. Reminds me of Simon Stalenhag paintings.

Dune Spice Harvester

I liked the little animation sequences - like this one showing the Dune Spice Harvester being picked up and moved around. It didn't really make any sense at all given people and lights could levitate without jets or power, so why they needed balloons, but we'll forgive that for now.

Dune Fremen shit at fighting

Dune Fremen shit at fighting

I'm fairly certain, early on Duncan Idaho was extolling how amazing the Fremen were in battle. And yet. A middle-age woman and her 6 stone son can out fight them.

Dune Review Conclusion

dune ornithopter

I think remaking this film was going to be very hard. But, not harder than Bladerunner - given it's fanbase too. Villeneuve got some things very right, and improved on the original film and some things just so wrong. This is a shame, as the end result for me was an average 5/10. I can see why it polarised reviews. Hopefully, part 2 (I hate it when films do this) learns from the mistakes of the first, but they're not going to be able to fix some of the casting errors. A good start would be to lay off the wailing Freman nonsense.

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