Film Review: Dune (1984)

Full disclosure: this isn’t a great movie. 

This isn’t even a GOOD movie if I’m being honest; it ignores the core point of the books, the pacing is crap, a lot of important characters (Duncan Idaho, Liet-Kynes, Chani, Lady Jessica, Stilgar,  etc.) are underdeveloped and treated like plot-conveniences, the majority of the visuals have aged very poorly, and Sting wears metal underwear in one scene. Not only is it terrible both as an adaptation of a groundbreaking novel, but it’s also terrible as its own cinematic entity. 

And yet, I loved it with all my heart. Being a fan of the books, I was naturally appalled at the way this philosophically-complex story was reconstructed in a fashion not dissimilar to the work of a plastic surgeon with a plane to catch in 15 minutes who just got wasted at his son’s NFL debut. But going in with the assumption of all these things beforehand, not to mention a really great adaptation now in our back pocket (thank you Denis), I had such a blast watching this. 

Even if the end result isn’t the greatest, you can tell that director David Lynch, the cast, and the whole production team really put their heart and soul into it. The set design looks great, the actors all do really well for what they’re given, and the score is pretty damn cool. Additionally, the overall campiness certainly plays a part in the film’s downfall as a good movie, but also adds a lot to its rise as a purely ENJOYABLE movie. 

I never thought I would see Sir Patrick Stewart charge into battle holding a pug, but here we are. It, along with other things like cat milk and the aforementioned metal underwear, are what make this adaptation such a majestically-degrading piece of cinema history. Go in expecting the worst and you might just have yourself a great time watching Lynch’s Dune.

Overall rating: 6/10

Published by Jeremy Bader

Aspiring writer, film and music lover, drummer.

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