Home Opinion Columns Dunes day: A review of “Dune” 2021

Dunes day: A review of “Dune” 2021

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A column header designed for Night Light by Jamie Miller, a culmination of reviews opinion from a night owl. (Abby Haywood/The Collegiate)

By Jamie Miller

Greetings Nightlighters, it is I, “the naturally nervy, night-dwelling nerd” Jamie Miller here with yet another issue of Nightlight. 

Now dear readers, as I have said time and time again, I am a huge fan of the Sci-Fi genre. From TV shows and movies like “Star Trek” and “Star Wars” to video games like “Mass Effect” and “Halo,” so when I learned that a “Dune” remake was coming out I was…. intrigued, though I never watched the original 1984 film. I am well aware of the books and how expansive the lore is – you add to that the fact that one of my favorite actresses, Zendaya, appeared in the film, and I was excited. However the results were somewhat mixed with the story being good, but also a bit overly complicated. Regardless, here we go.

“Dune” tells the tale of Paul Atrecides, heir apparent to his father Leto who is a duke of a large space empire. In the “Dune” universe there is a substance known as “spice” which is a powerful drug that, among other gifts, bestows upon the user a far extended life span. However, it can only be found on a desert wasteland planet known as Arrakis. Now you see the empire has more or less colonized the planet with the natives known as the Freman – who are more or less subservient to them. Leto has been assigned to be the empire’s fief of the planet, taking over from Baron Vladimir Harkonnen; though there is treachery afoot. Now Paul and his mother, Lady Jessica, must engage in a desperate battle to survive on a unforgiving world, a world that may just hold the key to Paul’s destiny. 

The movie stars Timothee Chalamet known for such films as “Beautiful Boy” and “Lady Bird” in the role of Paul. Rebecca Ferguson, known for roles such as Rose the hat in “Doctor Sleep” and Jenny Lind in “The Greatest Showman,” plays the part of Paul’s mother who is from a race of, for lack of a better term, space witches known as the Bene Gesserit who can use her very voice as a weapon, a weapon that Paul has inherited. Oscar Isaac, known for playing Poe Dameron in the “Star Wars” sequel trilogy, stars as duke Leto Atrecides, Paul’s father – a wise but good man. Josh Brolin, known for playing Thanos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, plays the part of Gurney Halleck; the gruff and brutally honest Gurney Halleck weapons master for house Atrecides and a kind of mentor to Paul. WWE legend Dave Bautista, who is also known for playing Drax the Destroyer in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, plays the part of Glossu Rabban; the equally despicable nephew of the brutal baron. Speaking of which, Stellan Skarsgard, known for such films as “The Hunt for Red October” and “Good Will Hunting”, plays the part of the ogre like the baron himself. Jason Momoa, known for appearances in “Game Of Thrones” and for playing Aquaman in the DC Extended Universe, plays the part of Duncan Idaho, a skilled swordsman for house Atrecides and a mentor and good friend of Paul. Zendaya, known for such shows in “Shake It Up,” “K.C. Undercover” and “Euphoria,” also appears as Chani, a Freman who appears in Paul’s dreams of what is to come.

I have mixed feelings about this movie. On one hand it was a fun ride, the action scenes were very well done, the acting was great and the lore is crazy. The problem is that the lore is crazy! I’m still confused about what exactly I watched. Not to mention how Zendaya was only on screen in the movie for about seven minutes or so – that is not enough Zendaya if you ask me. To me, having her on all of the posters and commercials strayed dangerously close to false advertising. Now don’t get me wrong, I get why they did it, after all she is a big name and can draw in fresh eyes. But still she was only in the film for maybe seven minutes! From how much she was featured in the trailers you would think she would be the female lead.

That being said, maybe they can make up for that in part two, which is set to be released in 2023. But the movie was still good, the music was phenomenal, which makes sense since it was done by Hans Zimmer, and as I mentioned previously, the effects were pretty good. I give it five and a half torches out of 10. It’s not bad at all…. but at around two and a half hours, the movie does tend to trudge along at times – but it is still worth a watch