Post: Dune: Denis Villeneuve's Masterpiece (Film Review)
The latest attempt to bring Frank Herbert's sprawling epic to the big screen, despite some very basic pacing issues, is so astonishingly good that I have no choice but to watch it a few more times before it's removed from HBO Max. How good is it? It's so good that I feel guilty about streaming it instead of paying for a ticket and watching it in the theater. Villeneuve has done what most Dune fans considered impossible: he created a film actually worthy of the title Dune. It's so good that I would gladly pay for the right to stream it again and that's saying quite a bit for me.
My son is eleven years old and he reminds me a lot of myself when I was his age. I was eleven when I was first introduced to Frank Herbert and the, massive, incredibly detailed world of Dune. Not only did Herbert's writing leave a lasting impression on my young mind, but Dune in particular went on to become one of my favorite books of all-time. It is up there with Steinbeck's Cannery Row, The Hobbit and Lord of The Rings by Tolkien, and pretty much anything from Edgar Allen Poe and H.P. Lovecraft.
There have been, to my knowledge, two attempts to bring Herbert's world to the big screen and at least two made-for-television mini-series. The 1984 David Lynch version of Dune was, without-a-doubt, a stroke of genuine artist genius. It was also terrible movie overall. Lynch's version left me feeling as if Dune would never get a proper film adaptation. It's now some 37 years later and I am overjoyed to report that I was wrong. This new version is everything that I hoped Dune could ever be on the big screen. The director, Denis Villeneuve, also directed Bladerunner 2049 (another one of my favorite movies) and because of this I had high hopes that he, of all people, would do justice to the book. It turns out my faith in his ability as a director was not unfounded.
Lastly, I want to leave you with some words of advice. If you do decide to watch Dune, and I do recommend that you do so if you can, please feel free to ask me any questions that you might have. I also recommend researching the source material beforehand. This movie was made and directed by a hardcore Dune fan for hardcore Dune fans and you simply cannot approach it with little to no information on the book. If you do it'll leave you lost, confused, and wondering what just happened. However, if you go into it armed with a little knowledge of the book, Herbert's massive universe, and some general Dune lore, you'll be treated to an absolute masterpiece of modern filmmaking.
Final Rating: Dune (2021) more than earns itself a solid 5 out of 5 stars.
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