Dune / Legendary Pictures

I went to Arrakis, sniffed some spice, and rode a giant sandworm across the desert. In other words, I finally saw Dune. One of the most anticipated films of 2021 finally arrived in theaters and on HBO Max, and opinions are being thrown all over Twitter.

As the responsible man that I am, I waited a few days to gather my thoughts. Here they are.

Dune
Dune / Warner Bros.

Dune Reaction And Comments

Dune ruled.

– Denis Villeneuve is in his bag. I’ve said it a hundred times before, and I’ll say it again. Villeneuve is one of the five best working directors in Hollywood. He’s in my personal top three. No one besides Christopher Nolan understands the importance of scope and scale more than Villeneuve. The wide shots of Arrakis and Caladan are a wet dream for those who love cinematography. Every single frame is carefully crafted and executed at the highest level. Simply, it was a privilege to watch a master execute his vision.

– This cast might have the highest approval rating ever for an ensemble. Ocean’s Eleven and Knives Out both have an A-list cast, but Dune wears the crown for cast right now.

– Why didn’t Legendary and Warner Bros. market the film as “Dune Part I?” I read an interview where Denis Villeneuve explained how he secured a two-movie deal and he wouldn’t agree to the project unless it was multiple movies. Why not market the film as the first film in a two-part saga? After Warner Bros. upset Villeneuve with the decision to stream the film on HBO Max simultaneously with a theatrical release, you would think they would have greenlit the sequel immediately. But no, the sequel wasn’t guaranteed because of the unknown box office returns and subscriber numbers due to the pandemic.

– Furthermore, had this film been marketed as Part I from the very beginning, it would have cleared up a lot of confusion in terms of the story. There’s A LOT of world-building and exposition in the 156-minute film so much so that it would have been impossible to tell a complete story in one film. This is just a hunch, but critical reception would have improved if it was “Dune Part I” from the start. Many critics would have seen it as the franchise’s version of The Fellowship of the Ring, knowing another film was coming to complete the story.

– The movie is kind of plotless? Now that I wrote it out, plotless is the wrong word. As I said, Dune is a lot of exposition as Villeneuve attempts to explain this complex world throughout the movie. Let me rephrase “plotless.” The inciting incident to the story – the Harkonnen betrayal and invasion – begins more than an hour into the movie. Then, Jessica and Paul wander in the desert for the rest of the film, attempting to survive the sandworms, the Harokonnens, and the Freemans. That’s not to say it’s a bad thing, but it’s a lot of set-up for very little payoff.

– The sandworms were AWESOME. Super effective.

– The action sequences were incredible. Between the Harkonnen invasion, Duncan Idaho vs. an entire army, and the sandworm attacks, Dune perfectly balanced political thriller to an edge-of-your-seat action-adventure.

– Don’t move your hand!

Timothée Chalamet in Dune / Legendary Pictures

– Best performances:
1. Jason Momoa
2. Rebecca Ferguson
3. Oscar Isaac

– Jason Momoa is the coolest man on the planet. He stole the damn show as Duncan Idaho.

Jason Mamoa in Dune / Legendary Pictures

– Thankfully, our wish was granted when Legendary greenlit Dune Part II.

– I have a confession. I watched this movie on HBO Max. I want to apologize to my Lord and Savior Denis Villeneuve for seeing his work of art on a small screen. Have no fear, I’m headed to a movie theater this weekend to watch the sandworms.

My Letterboxd Score: 4/5.

I can’t wait to spend more time with Zendaya and Javier Bardem as we all watch Timothée Chalamet ride a sandworm in Dune Part II.

Did you enjoy Dune? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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