Movie Review: Dune


Liberty Lavelle, Staff Writer

The heavily anticipated movie Dune was released on October 22. The movie acts as an introduction to the saga, based on American Author Frank Herbert’s sci-fi books, and viewers’ first glimpse into the futuristic universe it takes place in. 

Dune, while just on the verge of lasting three hours, doesn’t actually get very far plot-wise. The basic premise centers around protagonist Paul Atreides, son of the head of the Atreides house, and his journey following the death of his father. Paul and his family are given a desert planet called Arrakis as a gift from the Emperor, although it’s later discovered the gift may be more of a trap. The planet is necessary for its means of collecting spice, as well as being home to a group of people known as the Fremen, and it becomes the Atreides’ responsibility to keep both under control. 

The casting of the movie was strong, with up-and-coming actors and actresses such as Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya. The problem, though, was that these characters didn’t really do much. Throughout the course of the movie, Paul, understandably, had the most action and development, but the other characters had little to none. 

I understand that there is a lot of material to cover in this series, and it’s difficult to fit everything in well, but perhaps this movie bit off more than it could chew. Many major things were thrown in as minor details. For example, pilot Duncan Idaho seemed to have a strong relationship with Paul, even seeming to be his best friend, but he was killed off quickly and easily. Another is Paul being “The One”. This plotline will most likely play a bigger role in the following movie(s), but I watched this one twice and still can’t really explain what it means. 

Additionally, with the amount of detail in the books compared to the amount of time for a reasonable movie, there might just be too much writers are trying to fit in. Yes, we meet quite a few characters, but we hardly have the time to form any opinions or connections with them. 

However, one thing the movie did exceptionally well was the setting. The scenes were beautiful, from large desert plains to the Atreides household, every visual was amazing. 

It’ll be interesting to see how the next movie pulls together details from this one and if everything will start moving forward more seamlessly. The series has a lot of potential, so hopefully the writers will tie up loose ends and actually give it a plot going forward.