I was sitting down to watch a movie tonight, and I browsed through the available streaming services. And you know what I saw on Prime video for free? That old 1984 David Lynch Dune that is much talked about, usually negatively, yet I have not seen it. I figured hey, even if it sucks, it’s so infamous, I must see this at some point. Why not now? I got nothing better to do.
Yeah so, it’s not the worst movie ever, but is very flawed. There are some things about it that are ok-ish, especially in the earlier part of the film. But there are really just three major flaws with it in order. If these three things were fixed, I think it would level up from infamous to “not too shabby.”
First, Dune is a large book with a LOT of stuff happening in it. To turn it into a movie you either need to cut out a lot of shit, or make multiple movies or TV episodes or something. They chose to include lots and lots of stuff, but give almost none of it the time necessary to have any meaning or emotional impact. Especially the second half of the movie everything is super-rushed. It feels like someone is reading me a book and is just sick of it, but something is forcing them to finish so they are reading as fast as they can, and getting a lot of shit wrong.
Second, while they should have cut many things out in order to have a well paced impactful film, the one thing they did cut out pretty much completely is the ecological story of Dune. Other than saying “the worm is spice” they spent absolutely no time at all on what that actually means. This is the one thing that should not have been cut. It should have been the main focus.
Lastly, the obvious, the characters and aesthetic, especially of the Baron are just the worst in every way. A lot of these characters feel like villains from Power Rangers or some shit. A serious epic sci-fi is not the place for that kind of portrayal. Of course a lot of the material in the book is problematic to begin with, but this movie came out when I was 2, so…
I’m gonna say, the only reason to watch it is the reason I watched it. You watch it because you need to know what the deal is. If you don’t need to know, you don’t need to waste your time.