“Dune” Establishes a New Franchise with Stunning Visuals and Sounds

The 2021 space opera feels like “Star Wars” meets “Game of Thrones”

Daniel Stell, Managing Editor

Science fiction movies have captivated audiences for decades, ever since the release of “Star Wars” in the ’70s. “Dune” is one of many science fiction epics coming to the big screen in recent years, but it stands out from the rest because it is an adaptation of a pre-existing science fiction epic.
Written in 1965 by Frank Hubert, “Dune” became one of the most successful and iconic pieces of science fiction literature of all time. Hubert wrote multiple sequels, fleshing out the enormous universe the story took place in exponentially over the course of his career. The series has been praised for its worldbuilding which uses real-world science to explain the geography, wildlife, and technology presented in the books.
The “Dune” saga has actually been adapted once before in the 1980s with a movie of the same name. Ever since the announcement of this new adaptation, there was a massive resurgence of praise from fans of the original 1984 film. This was also accompanied by many original fans criticizing the new movie for not being as detailed as the original.
The movie centers around the desert planet of Arrakis which is the center of intergalactic civil wars over the production of spice: a powerful substance that is necessary for space travel. The Atreides family from a neighboring planet arrives and is immediately faced with political intrigue and backstabbing, and the son of the Duke of House Atreides Paul, played by Timothee Chalamet, is caught in the middle of it as his family is targeted by the entirety of the intergalactic empire.
“Dune” came out on October 22, 2021, officially and was met with a variety of opinions and criticisms. The movie is full of incredible visuals and cinematography that utilizes the best computer-generated effects have to offer. This is elevated with the intense soundtrack using powerful chanting and never-before-heard melodies that really bring the desert planet of Arrakis to life. The movie focuses on the relationship between Paul and his mother Lady Jessica, played by Rebecca Ferguson, and how their relationship grows over time.
“Dune,” although it follows the story of the book well, does not fully explain everything for the audience, leaving some with burning questions after it is over. In a way, it feels like it is more tailored to the side of the audience that read the book while those unfamiliar with the book will have trouble understanding and fully investing themselves into the film. That doesn’t mean one can not enjoy the movie without having read the book but it will probably help some in understanding the plot better.
The pacing is quite slow and almost feels like only half of a movie by the end. This is because the movie only covers half of the book and the next film will cover the next half. Luckily, this part does deliver a fun story with interesting implications for the franchise down the road. As long as you can get past its strange structure and the way it tackles its foreshadowing, you will enjoy “Dune” for what it is.
“Dune,” overall, is a decent introduction to a new franchise of films. Though it is bogged down by its scale and pacing, audiences will still enjoy the visuals and characters without too much issue.