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Sci-Fi

Dune (2021)

Duration2h 35m
RatingsUK: 12A, USA: PG-13, Denmark: 11
Source of storyA 1965 novel of the same name by Frank Herbert
DirectorDenis Villeneuve
Writers/ScriptJon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve, Eric Roth
StarringTimothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Jason Momoa, Stellan Skarsgård, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Dave Bautista, Zendaya, Charlotte Rampling, 
RatingsIMDb: 8.5 by 36k people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 90% by 71 critics.

Elevator Pitch: In some distant future the inhabitants of a planetary group headed by “The Emperor” are users of the drug melange, known as “spice” which is harvested on the desert planet of Arrakis. The people living on the planet, the Fremen, survive by the saving all possible sources of water, and avoid the dangerous sand worms which predate anything that moves. The Emperor gifts the management of the planet to the house of Asteides who is supposed to oust the current operator, Baron Harkonnen and his henchmen. Duke Leto Astreides, together with his son, Paul, and wife Rebecca (a former member of the Bene Gesserit) with their supporters go to the planet, but in no time are engaged in an all out war with the Baron’s army. 

Content: No sex or nudity, but obviously the central theme of the story is the use of “spice”, a drug which gives its users superhuman powers, although we have not seen them being used. There is a lot of exposition during the first hour, presenting us with of major meetings of important people who invariably arrive in vast space craft from which they then emerge. There is a major armed fight between the various factions. The participants use invisible body shields which prevent the use of firearms, so all the fights are with edged weapons. There is much use of small aircraft which the developers must have called “dragonflies”. The soundtrack in generally onerous and the atmosphere dark.

A View: This work has been well liked by what, up to now, has been a limited number of critics. It cost a fortune and we are waiting with baited breath to see if it makes enough money for Part 2 to be green lit. I have been a fan of the book which I read soon after it came out, and enjoyed the David Lynch 1984 outing. It is a complex tale which took a lot of setting up so you have to hang on, but I’m absolutely with the critic from Vulture who said “let’s have more of this batshit!” 

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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