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Massive, Haunting, Awe-inspiring Nothingness – Dune (2021)

I have not read the novel and I knew nothing about this film going into the theater… and I left the theater realizing that would have been extremely helpful.

Denis Villeneuve’s Dune is an exciting, haunting, cool, awe-inspiring, but ultimately unsatisfying adventure. The film is made up of very intense, engrossing scenes that when strung together left me confused and sometimes bored. The film was beautiful: the world, the ships, the sandworms, the city. But there were far too many times when this film dragged and I checked my watch, wondering how much longer this was going to go on.

I am convinced that this film will be everything the fans of the book wanted and more. I am sure that hardcore fans of Dune will love this film. But the thing is, a movie (that isn’t a sequel) that requires you to have previous knowledge of the world and story before viewing isn’t a really good movie at all. A movie that leaves viewers lost to a point where they lose interest in the film isn’t well done. And it wasn’t that I couldn’t track with the story… it’s that I didn’t care enough to do the mental gymnastics.

There was too much to stuff into one 2 1/2 hour film, and that was incredibly clear. So much happened that all of it became uninteresting.

I went into this film wanting to like it – I love new fantasy/sci-fi worlds. I think I went into this film biased in favor of it. The review said “the next Star Wars” and I wanted that to be true. And as I walked out of the theater I was initially satisfied and excited. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized… I don’t care. I don’t care about the characters, I don’t care to see the sequel, I didn’t care when key characters died, I couldn’t care less what happens to Timothée Chalamet’s character.

This film did not make me care about the story. And I consider that a failure.

My rating: 6/10

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