Last night was the first time I’ve sat down and watched a new film in a movie theater in I don’t even know how long. I’ll be honest, I quickly realized why I wasn’t in such a rush to get back to a theater. It’s just as underwhelming as it was before COVID-19 started, maybe even more so now because half the audience is too scared to sit in the theater without wearing a mask. But alas, my friends and I decided to sit down and watch the newly hyped sci-fi film ‘Dune.’ For those of you morons who don’t realize this when you’re reading a movie review there are spoilers ahead, so fair warning.
The film starts out with an aggressive amount of world building and expositional background, as a typical sci-fi does. While this was expected the volume of world building was pretty overwhelming. I found myself getting lost quickly and constantly mixing up who’s who with the names of the galactic empires that were competing with each other in the ‘Dune’ world.
Eventually the main conflict is brought into light when Paul’s family and the House of Atreides are tasked with reviving the economy of the desert planet, Arrakis, the sole location of the galaxy’s most prized mineral, “Spice.” Quickly we learn the task is actually a trap set by some emperor to lure the House of Atreides leadership onto the planet where they are to be wiped out completely. Luckily Paul and his mother escape the assault and have to navigate their way through the dangerous deserts of Arrakis to find their way off the planet.
Now I gave this film a chance, as I do with any movie I watch, but this one just absolutely fizzled after about 30 minutes. Once the Arrakis city is destroyed and the House of Atreides leadership wiped out the rest of the movie is just literally watching Paul and his mommy wander through a desert while he has random dreams about how hot Zendaya is. I thought with all the visions he had of her character that she’d play a prominent role in Paul’s character arch, but she’s literally in the movie for all of about 5 minutes.
I honestly don’t understand why this film has an 83% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes… IT SO BORING! The world that’s created by the film is great, I’ll give it that, but when your entire first leg of your movie franchise is literally just world building with little to no real arch or storyline you lose your audience quickly. It’s obvious there’s going to be a sequel because that’s all the whole damn movie is doing: Setting up for a sequel. When your first movie can’t stand alone and is entirely dependent on the success of it’s sequel that has yet to be created then you know your film is shitty, or at least doesn’t deserve an 83%.
Overall I thought the adaptation of the novel didn’t do the story justice. Sure, the world in which the film exists is unique and interesting, but for a movie with no arch and almost no conflict I’d say this was a big disappointment and yet another example of Hollywood overhyping an overfunded flop. Do better, Warner Brothers. Or at least make a movie that can stand on its own.