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.
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
The sci-fi epic Dune boasts a few films’ worth of giant sandworms, amazing spaceships, cosmic armies and galactic political drama, though it essentially is only half a movie.
In the end, Denis Villeneuve was all too right: Your television isn’t big enough for the scope of his Dune, but that’s only because this lifeless spice opera is told on such a comically massive scale that a screen of any size would struggle to contain it.
I’ll always love Lynch’s “Dune,” a severely compromised dream-work that (not surprising given Lynch’s own inclination) had little use for Herbert’s messaging. But Villeneuve’s movie IS “Dune.”
An astounding spectacle, vast in scale and ambition. Prepare to have your breath snatched away.
The sheer awesomeness of Villeneuve's execution — there might not be another film this year, or ever, that turns one character asking another for a glass of water into a kind of walloping psychedelic performance art — often obscures the fact that the plot is mostly prologue: a sprawling origin story with no fixed beginning or end.
Audiences deserve to see the conclusion of an action film so immaculately crafted and patiently paced, one that's more focused on inspiring reverent amazement through the simplicity of durable storytelling structures rather than the complexity of cinematic universe building.
Those who find Villeneuve to be a self-serious, humorless, and pretentious bore likely won’t be changing their minds anytime soon after “Dune,” but that just might be their loss. Whether Warner Bros. accepts the call to make a sequel in a climate of dismal box-office returns remains to be seen. But that’s not our concern at the moment; Dune is undeniably impressive, spellbinding, and evocatively immense, regardless.
Dune is a gorgeous but imperfect epic, a technical wonder that spends too much time setting up a third act that never comes.
Denis Villenueve’s slow-burn space opera fuses the arthouse and the multiplex to create an epic of otherworldly brilliance.