Dune is a visual masterpiece, but an endlessly frustrating experience

It’s tens of thousands of years into the future and humanity has become a dystopian space faring civilization of emperors, lords, and witches.

When the noble house of Atreides are ordered by the emperor to occupy the planet of Arakkis, the producer of the Spice that allows space travel to be possible, a conspiracy to destroy the Atreides soon comes to light.

Also, Timothee Chalamet is space Jesus.

Although incredibly overblown, the 1984 version of Dune is a cherished part of my childhood, to the point that I will actually sit through the four hour version. 2021’s Dune is a superior vision, methodical and grand in scope, with stunning visuals… and, at the same time, it presents a story half-told that literally ends when it feels like it’s only beginning.

While I know a sequel is coming, this feels like The Golden Compass all over again.

Did I enjoy it? Yes, I did. Timothee Chalamet is a serviceable Paul. He doesn’t really do anything noteworthy or amazing with the role, but he isn’t terrible either. A lot like the storytelling in this movie, it is oddly reserved. Where 1984’s version blasted you in the face with everything, 2021’s version gives you only enough to survive.

Overall, the action is good. The visuals are astounding… it’s just that the movie itself is what the movie is: An incomplete narrative. A prequel to something that seems better.

It is a shame too because, had the film been marketed that way, the way that The Lord of the Rings was marketed, for example, Dune wouldn’t have felt so frustrating.

I honestly thought we were done with the epic-baiting nonsense of the 2000’s. At least we know that Dune won’t remain unfinished. There is comfort in that.

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