MathijsM’s review published on Letterboxd:
Denis Villeneuve isn’t a director I wouldn’t necessarily call “hit or miss”, since I’ve liked most of his movies I’ve seen from him, but I definitely think parts of his filmography are much better than other parts. I love Arrival, Incendies and Blade Runner 2049, but movies like Prisoners, Enemy and Sicario feel so emotionally empty that they don’t do much for me personally. It’s why I went into Dune with mixed expectations: I was half expecting an emotional masterpiece but on the other side I could have also seen it end up being empty. I’m happy to report though that Dune falls into the former, because even though it has a lot of the major aspects of a typical blockbuster it also has a strong emotional core.
I should clarify that I watched this in a 3D Imax Dolby theater, which greatly improved the experience for me. If I look into the actual flesh of this film I’m sure I could find a bunch of flaws, but the experience was so incredible that I don’t really care for the flaws. It was genuinely one of the greatest theater experiences I’ve ever had, the sound design and the vfx are completely out of this world and the cinematography is immaculate. It takes its time in the first act to properly lay out the characters and world, and after that it really gets going. It’s not paced like a regular blockbuster but it doesn’t need to be, because it’s clear to me that Villeneuve really tried to differentiate this from other major sci-fi blockbusters like the modern Star Wars movies.
I’m excited for this to come to the US and see what other people think. At the time of writing it’s at a 4.2 average, but I think it’ll eventually even out at 4.1. It might be my favorite of the year, watch it when you can!