Tuesday 19 October 2021

REVIEW: Dune 2021 - Starring Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Jason Momoa, Javier Bardem

Review by Jon Donnis
Dune is the kind of film that you will enjoy more on a second watching. I say that because the film itself is quite disjointed, and the characters in general are quite unlikeable, and the two characters you will take an interest in, those being Dave Bautista as Glossu Rabban, and Jason Momoa as Duncan Idaho, aren't in the film that much. I don't understand why you would have such big name actors, and then not really use them.

If you are unaware of the Dune story, Timothée Chalamet plays Paul Atreides, the heir of House Atreides. A brilliant and gifted young man, destined for great things. He has to travel to a dangerous desert planet called Arrakis, also known as Dune. This planet has a substance on it called "Melange", also known as "Spice". This is a drug that can give humans longer life spans, and increase brain capacity. 

The drug is collected by huge machines that scrape the planets surface, of course life isn't so easy and there are giant sand worms that are a constant threat, as well as deadly storms.

After a betrayal Paul and Lady Jessica, played by the gorgeous Rebecca Ferguson cross the desert to find the Fremen, natives of the planet Arrakis who they hope will help them.

This film is really Dune Part 1, and it only covers half of the book, so another film will be released at some point in the future. Because of this, the end of the film does suffer greatly, as it just kind of finishes, without any real climax.

The acting in the film is ok, Dave Bautista as Glossu Rabban is excellent, Mamoa without a beard is distracting, but as mentioned earlier, if you have no idea of the plot, have not read the book etc, it is hard to know who you are supposed to be following the fortunes of early on. You see two huge names in Mamoa and Bautista, and you would be mistaken in thinking they will be the main protaganist and antagonist. But they are not in it that much. By the time you realise that the young Paul Atreides is the main character, half the film is over. So I really do believe a second watching will improve not only your enjoyment, but also your understanding of the film.

The Good
Beautiful cinematography, everything looks and sounds wonderful, the costumes, make up, visual effects etc are all top notch as you would expect in a big budget film.

The Bad
At times the film feels a bit disjointed, and perhaps too many characters thrown in the mix early on may leave you a littleconfused. There is also a total lack of lighthearted moments, the closest you get to it is the odd line from Jason Mamoa.

A serious epic, that fans of the book and original movies should love. But for newbies to the franchise, it might not quite hit home on first viewing.

I score Dune 2021 a fair 7/10