Let’s not beat around the bush here: “Dune” is boring. “But that’s how the book is!” Then they should’ve found a more interesting book to make a movie out of. “You just don’t like it because there’s not enough action and humor!” There have been countless incredible movies that have little-to-no action or humor; this isn’t one of them. “You’re just a TikTok-brained moron who can’t focus on one thing for more than 30 seconds!” True.
Before I go into why this movie didn’t work for me, let me go through the positives. First off, the cinematography is really well done. Denis Villeneuve’s directing style thrives in this movie’s setting, and there are a lot of amazing shots that set the scope of the story well.
The world-building is also impressive. This is a movie that has a lot of strange concepts to explain to its audience, and for the most part, it does a good job of outlining the social politics within its world as well as the special abilities of certain characters.
This is also a movie with a plethora of A-list actors, so naturally, there are some really good performances. The most compelling performance came from Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica, the mother of protagonist Paul Atreides.
Unfortunately, the positives of this movie do not outweigh the negatives. This is one of the most strangely paced films I’ve ever seen; the source material is two thirds of the first book — so it’s quite literally telling an incomplete story.
Traditional movie staples like a singular climactic moment or character development are thrown by the wayside which makes the two-and-a-half-hour runtime feel longer than it actually is.
The movie also does a bad job of giving the audience a way to empathize with the main characters, especially Timotheé Chalamet’s Paul. I’ve seen some people say that the problem is that these characters aren’t relatable, which is a poor assessment.
“Succession” is one of the best shows on television right now, and that’s a show about a group of billionaires arguing over who gets to run their company. It’s not relatable at all, but the show is written in such a way that makes it easy to empathize with each character’s goals and motivations. That is what makes it compelling.
“Dune” fails in this regard, and as a result it’s hard to root for Paul, as we don’t really understand what’s driving his actions. I would not recommend this movie, as despite being a faithful adaptation of its source material, the source material itself is not made for the big screen.