The Jesus story then, made into sci-fi, Herbert's novels an veritable earthquake in that community, and wrestled with by David Lynch to bring to the screen. While stylistically vibrant, Lynch is brought low by the inability to transmit the unfolding wonder Herbert delivered: " ... a god walking amongst us!" that is the essence of the story, given by a multitude of intricacies. Lynch tries to follow the story, but only trips in those same intricacies, giving instead plodding pace and mysticism lost.
Dune is a mess. An ambitious mess. A brave mess. But still, a mess.
I don't totally blame David Lynch. He really went for it and brought a version of Dune to the screen that tried to be faithful to the novel. But it's incredibly hard to translate something as complex and epic as Dune to film. This is a story that works better when your imagination brings it to life. Your vision of a Guild Navigator, the revolting Baron, or the opulence of the Emperor's court is bound to eclipse the cheesy and low-budget (in appearance, at least) sets, costumes, and special effects of Dune.
Some flaws can directly be laid at Lynch's feet, though. The tone of the movie is often wildly over-the-top and absurd and the casting is questionable, at best.
Good try, but this adaptation doesn't work.
Ok, so a lot of trivia is already known about this film. Ridley Scott was set to direct, but dropped out to direct Alien. H.R. Giger designed some of the production but dropped out, however, some of his ideas were still used. David Lynch passed on directing Return of the Jedi to direct Dune, and has since disowned the t.v. version and placed "Judas Booth" in credits as director. The film has its' flaws.
That said, I love Dune. The production sets, costumes, music and dreamlike quality come together to offer me something rare. It strays from the books quite a bit and the esoteric dialogue is a kind of bonus for some of those who've read them...not everyone who's read them.
Considered a failure in 1984, and today by some, this film had a lot to contend with after the Star Wars trilogy, Alien and Blade Runner set such a high precedent for sci-fi. A lot of sci-fi films offer a narrative that's so simple or one that's so complex that it's nonsensical. Dune demands the viewer make use of their intelligence.
Still one of the most engaging, sophisticated, complex science fiction films I've ever seen and probably ever will.