Dune - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Dune Reviews

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April 7, 2018
I've been hooked on this movie as far back as I can remember.
March 5, 2018
I had only seen David Lynch's 1984 production of Dune once before when I was much younger, so when I got the chance to see a midnight screening of it at my local theater, I jumped on it. Going into this screening I recalled the movie being somewhat goofy, probably because I had just read all six of the original Dune novels the first time I saw it and OF COURSE it didn't come close to holding up to that lengthy, legendary storyline.

Frank Herbert's universe had seemingly endless plots, subplots, characters and themes. Dune has all the sex, violence and political machinations of Game of Thrones while also concentrating on much more weighty issues like technology, ecology, drug use, spirituality, the destiny of mankind, etc. The depth of Dune is too much for any movie to come close to capturing and that's the brick wall that David Lynch runs into. He can't possibly do the source material justice; not on a thematic level anyway. He can only capture the forms and some of the spectacle from the first book.

That said, I did enjoy it slightly more this second time, probably because I was focusing on its artistic merit and what David Lynch does well rather than mercilessly comparing it to the scope of the books. The first half of the film is steady, well presented and follows the book fairly well but somewhere around the middle of the movie the pace dramatically speeds up and they start cramming way too much story into too little screen time as events hurtle toward a hasty, contrived conclusion.

I wish that Lynch hadn't shoved so many of the characters thoughts into recorded voice overs. Apparently this was done because the studio demanded he cut his original 3 hour version of the film by 40 minutes. I get that anyone who hasn't read Dune would have a hard time comprehending what was going on without all that exposition, but I think the film would've benefited greatly by saying less. Let the mysterious remain mysterious and focus on those inspired visuals! If people want to unravel it all, they can go back and read the novel. What a torture, to have to read one of the most important works of science fiction ever!

For all its flaws, the film nails quite a few elements of "Dune." It's very well cast and most of the costumes / sets are spot on. Even the pronunciations of Herbert's fictional terminology are mostly correct and Paul's dream sequences are splendid to behold, evoking the symbolism and artistry you expect to flow from the prose of the book.

The film ends on a bit of an eye roll. Muad Dib and the Fremen win a crazy one-sided battle, he kills Feyd in the duel (Sting was surprisingly good in this role for someone who's not, primarily, an actor), Paul proclaims a new dawn of humanity and it suddenly rains for the first time on Dune. Really David? That rain wasn't in the book and you couldn't think of a better way to end it? How about after the proclamation we have a nice long zoom in on Paul transitioning into visions of the future from the subsequent five books? Muad Dib's fall, the trials of his children, the God Emperor and the rise of the Honored Matres! Paul is soaked in spice at this point so he's already getting glimpses of the future. Even just a brief montage eluding to those events with the dramatic score in the background would've made a great ending to your acid trip of a movie! But no, we get a sadly typical put-a-bow-on-it Hollywood ending and fade to credits.

Despite its shortcomings, I'm not overly disappointed. Adapting Dune is too great a task for anyone and it was fun to see Lynch try. Although much of the substance is missing, he succeeded in capturing the dramatic weight of Dune and painting a dazzling silver screen portrait of my favorite novel. It will be interesting to see if Denis Villeneuve can do better.
½ February 13, 2018
This movie really stinks.
February 10, 2018
56%? And Black Panther has a 98%? Plebs.
January 23, 2018
Bit of a mess. Easily Lynch's weakest film for me. But like any of his films there's still plenty to enjoy. There's something quite fun about the campy monster make-up, and the Brian Eno score is to die for.
½ January 10, 2018
I thought the movie was a bit confusing the first time I watched it way back when. But after the second time, the movie was, and is great. Totally under rated.
½ January 9, 2018
I saw this on release and was totally confused (even having read the book). 35 years later (almost), it seems a lot more accessible and enjoyable (and I've read the books several times since). A visual treat full of 80's brashness.
½ January 3, 2018
I understand it's a difficult movie to follow frequently, but besides that, this movie is fantastic. I don't always understand people's objections to this movie. Visually stunning and frequently well-acted (if you can accept some melodrama appropriate for the circumstances of the characters and story).
½ December 19, 2017
Pretty epic. Great cast.
November 24, 2017
Absolute, complete, total masterpiece. You must watch the longer edit of the movie, not the shorter one. Sure, you can criticize the implementation of this movie, but David Lynch certainly did deliver, and in some ways improved on it. Executing this story on film is certainly very very difficult, and I doubt this could have turned out better.
November 11, 2017
My favorite movie ever. Just stay away from the longer directors cut or the foreign cuts.
November 9, 2017
Clever science fiction. I think this film needs to be watched with the correct mindset. It was an epic movie.
½ October 22, 2017
There was a lot about this film that makes it laudable, but the plot is ghastly and the ham acting of some degrades the talented performances of the other actors.
October 21, 2017
A space sci-fi movie for the truly hardcore sci-fi nerds, which is definitely not me. David Lynch, the "King of the Unusual" definitely goes all out with the bizarre factor, only set in space this time. So many different oddball names that it's hard to keep track of what's what and who's who. All I know is once I got to the scene where a giant alien walrus fetus was shooting laser beams out of its mouth and butt, there was no way I could take this seriously. I'll take the new Disney tainted Star Wars crapfest movies over this any day.
October 19, 2017
Sitting right on the edge between thumbs up or down but uiltimately have to go down. It's cheesy no doubt - yet fairly absorbing. I was not thinking about bailing at any point. But it's just a bit too stupid with the unsubtle tale of hyper-earnest Jesus guy. It has some decent foundational elements and I imagine the book is probably pretty okay. But not quite as a movie. 4.4 out of 10
½ September 21, 2017
It's definitely interesting to see David Lynch attempt to tackle an epic space adventure like Dune. I really think the movie tried to cram in way too much material from its book, and could have benefited from being two movies, allowing certain plot points to be explained better and the characters to develop. The film tries to get past things to save time by having characters annoyingly thinking out loud or narrating. I felt like Kyle MacLachlan did well with what he had to work with.
½ September 11, 2017
I don't even know. ???
½ September 2, 2017
Sci-fi in a Gothic Jules Vern motif
August 27, 2017
A classic! This is definitely a strange movie, but one of my favorites. I confess I hated it the first time I saw it but have come to absolutely love it. Definitely worth watching a number of times. Very artistically made. Unique and enthralling.
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