Dune (1984/2021)

DUNE (15)
D: David Lynch
Dino de Laurentiis (Raffaela de Laurentiis)
USA 🇺🇸 1984
140 mins

Science Fiction

W: David Lynch [based on the novel by Frank Herbert]
DP: Freddie Francis
Ed: Antony Gibbs
Mus: Toto
PD: Anthony Masters
Cos: Bob Ringwood

Kyle MacLachlan (Paul Atreides), Francesca Annis (Lady Jessica), Jose Ferrer (Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV), Sian Phillips (Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam), Brad Dourif (Piter de Vries), Dean Stockwell (Dr. Wellington Yueh), Linda Hunt (Shadout Mapes)

A convoluted science fiction with too many characters who don't seem to be introduced properly (I guess it's important to have read Frank Herbert's novel first), all of which are going to war over a valuable spice on a desert-surfaced planet guarded by giant worms.
It's nevertheless a huge cult classic, but I fail to understand how it was so expensive. The special effects, art direction & costumes (Sting in a cod-piece) are disappointingly average. For me, David Lynch seemed to be the wrong director, since his vision seems to be obsessed with the occult and the unusual, resulting in the narrative becoming a huge, over-complicated mess.

Kyle MacLachlan in Dune (1984)
Kyle MacLachlan in Dune (1984)

It begins
It begins


D: Denis Villeneuve

Warner Bros / Legendary (Mary Parent, Caie Boyter, Joe Caracciolo, Jr. & Denis Villeneuve)

US 🇺🇸 2021

156 mins

Science Fiction

W: Denis Villeneuve, Joe Spaihts & Eric Roth [based on the novel by Frank Herbert]

DP: Greig Fraser

Ed: Joe Walker

Mus: Hans Zimmer

PD: Patrice Vermette

Cos: Jacqueline West & Robert Morgan

Timothee Chalamet (Paul Atreides), Rebecca Ferguson (Lady Jessica), Oscar Isaac (Duke Leto Atreides), Josh Brolin (Gurney Halleck), Stellan Skarsgård (Baron Vladimir Harkonnen), Dave Bautista (Beast Rabban Harkonnen), Jason Momoa (Duncan Idaho)

Frank Herbert’s hefty source material was originally brought to the screen for a 1984 film which I really wasn’t a huge fan of, partly because it was far too ambitious for its time and had the wrong choice of director at the helm.

37 years later, director Denis Villeneuve tries his hand at adapting the same novel to far greater success, although only half the story is tackled in this update.

Set on a distant planet where a valuable spice causes various noble families to go to war over the control of it.

Thankfully, this version takes its time with character introduction, so it doesn’t feel like such a garbled mess, as it crafts a fantastic and unique universe with some excellent visual effects & production design, although some of the conceptual designs do seem rather impractical (the dragonfly spacecraft, as an example), but they are nevertheless magnificent to behold due to the impeccable effects.

Think what you will of the story, the films strengths lie in its visuals and every single cent of the $165m budget looks like it found its way to the screen.

It’s unfortunate that only half the story was tackled here, and even more so that a sequel wasn’t even planned to tell the rest until this one proved a success for the studio. For me, this is a cinematic crime which I’ve taken major issues with (Lord Of The Rings aside, which was always a trilogy of books).

It’s understandable that the original source novel had many characters and subplots that couldn’t possibly be tackled in a single film, hence the mess that is the 1984 film, so why not create this as a television series (or at least produce both films in tandem so a two year wait isn’t needed for its conclusion).

I’ll revisit this one until the second part comes out, as this is simply the appetiser without an entree.  The feast is not yet complete.


Dune (2021)
Dune (2021)