November 13, 2021

Some Thoughts on Dune

Going into this movie I didn’t know anything about the Dune story… the book or the prior film. Ultimately I think that was a disadvantage.

I was expecting an action blockbuster. I was hoping for something more. We got a fairly slow-paced movie with lots of dream-like slow motion sequences. I had a hard time figuring out what was going on with Paul, which I assume is clear if you know the story. This feel like a movie the book readers will enjoy. I don’t blame it for not explaining everything, but it made it difficult for me to get into.

I did appreciate how the movie visually explained some of the technical aspects of this world. They did a good job of showing and not telling. For example, the voice that Paul is working on mastering. Another example would be the body shields. Through the test fight with Paul and then the more intense fights later on it was pretty clear how those things worked without having any exposition.

This movie looks really nice. The visuals are pretty amazing. I quickly grew tired of the slow motion sequences even though they looked nice.

Overall I found this movie mediocre. I can’t really argue with people who loves it or people who hated it. I didn’t feel strongly about it either way. Chalamet’s Paul Atreides felt like a very passive character in this story. His performance was okay… even good at times, but it felt like everything was happening to him. Not until the very end did he start to have some agency in his story.

Which brings me to one of the main weaknesses of this movie… the way it ended. It felt like we got the setup and first act of a movie. Just when it started to come together and gain momentum, it was done. That wasn’t good. It felt like the fist act of a typical 3 act structure. On its own I cannot say this is a good movie. It is just… incomplete. If more comes later it might be a good overall story, but this film itself was frustrating.

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