Dune (2021)

image from the film Dune (2021)

image from the film DUNE (2021)

How does one summarize the plot of Frank Herbert’s sprawling, trippy sci-fi masterpiece, Dune?

Perhaps thusly: a little princeling is sent to a desert planet to harvest psychotropic drugs from the sand, unintentionally kicking off a holy war between the oppressed native population and the colonialist space empire.

Denis Villeneuve’s visually arresting adaptation of this landmark novel is but the first half of the book, setting the stage for the holy war to come, but there is plenty of action, palace intrigue, and, yes, sandworms to keep you fully engaged in this scene-setting Part One.

Timothée Chalamet plays our sullen princeling, Paul Atreides, and Rebecca Ferguson excels as his mother, the Bene Gesserit witch Lady Jessica, but it is Jason Momoa who truly steals the show, with his boundless charisma and unmatched physique. Would that the whole movie was Momoa leaping and stabbing evil henchmen, but fear not (it is the mind-killer, you know): even during the most jargon-heavy scenes, Villeneuve keeps the film fleet and polished, ready to take off to the next action set-piece. We cannot wait for Part Two.

“However inconclusive as a story, the resulting film is a rarity among the overlong effects-heavy blockbusters of the last decade: one actually wishes it didn’t have to end so soon.” (AV Club)

“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-fueled visions.” (Empire)

more info at this website: warnerbros.com/movies/dune