Dune is one of sci-fi’s best-loved novels; a “Game of Thrones in space” epic that was first adapted for cinema in 1984. David Lynch’s bizarre and flawed take on Frank Herbert’s masterpiece may have a cult status, but the book could finally be given its due with Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming adaptation. His Dune, which is just the first half of the novel, has screened for critics in Venice today. The reviews are claiming this blockbuster to be the next Lord of the Rings while praising its visuals – but not everyone is convinced about its accessibility beyond the book’s fans.
An absorbing, awe-inspiringly huge adaptation of (half of) Frank Herbert’s novel that will wow existing acolytes, and get newcomers hooked on its Spice-fuelled visions. If Part Two never happens, it’ll be a travesty.
Science-fiction at its most majestic, unsettling and enveloping.
Spectacular sci-fi adaptation is this generation’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Dune reminds us what a Hollywood blockbuster can be.
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If you’re already knee-deep in Herbert mythology, you’ll thrill to every whispered word; if you come in not knowing the difference between a Holtzman shield and a hole in the floor, it’s a longer walk.
Part hero’s journey and part survival story, the film keeps throwing arcane details at you, which might thrill the Herbert geeks but will have most everyone else zoning out.
Even with its imperfections, Dune as an experience is awesome, with astounding special effects, great production design and a propulsive Hans Zimmer score.
Den of Geek
The first good adaptation of Herbert’s psychedelic (and frequently opaque) musings comes at a moment where visual grandeur is in desperate need of something weird and thoughtful. Well, Dune is very weird. Blissfully so.
Such pseudo-spiritual sci-fi adventures often teeter on the edge of the ridiculous, but Dune mostly stays on the right side of risible…
Dune is a gorgeous but imperfect epic, a technical wonder that spends too much time setting up a third act that never comes.
It’s not just that the story loses its pulse. It loses any sense that we’re emotionally invested in it.
In all its marvel, Dune forgets to do basic things like give us someone or something to root for, or feel for, or think about for longer than the stretch of the film.
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Dune’s synopsis reads: “Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people.
“As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence, only those who can conquer their own fear will survive.”
Part Two is yet to be greenlit by Warner Bros, while the director has ideas for a third film.
Dune will be released in UK cinemas on October 22, 2021.
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