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Dune: A Quick, Spoiler-free Review

So, Dune is finally here and I had chance to see it in IMAX. Denis Villeneuve is one of my favourite filmmakers of all time, and one of the best in the world (objectively). Here are my thoughts on his interpretation of Dune.

What I liked

The score is amazing. Hans Zimmer outdid himself.

Technically, everything in this film is awesome, from the cinematography and design of the sets, aircraft and other science fiction elements, to the costumes and prosthetics. It’s all fantastic.

The sound design is worth singling out. It smashes one in the face, and this is worth seeing in a cinema with an amazing sound system if one can.

In terms of performances, Oscar Isaac has immense presence in the role of Leto Atreides, as does Stellan Skarsgård as Baron Harkonnen.

The scale of the world is conveyed expertly through framing, as one sees how truly small the characters are in comparison to everything else happening on screen.

What I didn’t like

The first hour of this film is loaded with exposition. As someone who has read the first book, I can appreciate that they wanted to convey as much detail about the world, politics, objects and powers as possible, but it really does spoon-feed the audience in a way that may not have been necessary. The film really picks up in act 2.

The star-studded cast is mostly amazing, but some higher profile actors are movie stars before actors, and their presence can often pull one out of a world that otherwise envelopes the audience. I would have preferred a newcomer as Paul, with the rest of the cast filled out with A-listers.

I had hoped they would go further into the story in this film, and since the “Part One” was missing from all marketing and appears for the first time during the opening title sequence, it’s safe to say that a multi-film saga was always the plan. I just wish they had gone a bit further.


Rating: 7.5/ 10

It’s half a story that suffers from too much exposition and famous people messing with suspension of disbelief. But the cinematic experience you get from watching Dune (on all fronts, technically) is one that you won’t forget. Go watch this on the biggest screen with the best sound system that you can find.

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Watch the trailer for Dune here: 

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Editor-in-Chief at BTG Lifestyle. For cinema.