Thomas Woloshyn’s review published on Letterboxd:
Watched on the high seas
I was wrong about Dune.
Going in, I was under the impression that Dune was an unadaptable book, too impenetrable with a lore too thick to be conducted beyond the page. Worse even, it was in two parts, and I feared the first wouldn't stand along. I'm glad to report back that I was wrong.
Dune is probably the most Denis Villeneuve movie. Whether that's a good or bad thing entirely depends upon what you think of the director, but personally speaking, he made one of my favorite movies of all time. I love his direction style, and it's on full display here.
He expertly translates the rich world and deep lore of the original novel onto the big screen. It's beautiful, bombastic, and surprisingly quiet, making the rest of the film his that much harder and making the action much more effective.
Rather than attemp to condense the massive book into one story, Denis has taken the polar opposite approach of making two incredibly long movies. Much like with Blade Runner 2049, I expect a lot of people will think this movie is boring, but in reality, it needs to be long.
The characters need it, you see, as the core of the story is the characters and their relationships. This is why the Lynch version doesn't work as well, and it's why this one struck such a chord with me. It's incredibly well written and acted, with one of the best ensemble casts I've ever seen.
Pacing-wise, it was unfortunately a bit of a mess, and that's where my biggest gripe comes in. It takes too long to get going, and just when it does, it's over. The final battle happens way too long before the end of the movie, which just... Ends.
Dune's pros outshine its cons, however. Villeneuve and his team have created one of the most unique cinema experiences I've seen in ages. This is a true epic, and needs to be seen to be believed. I was wrong about Dune, and chances are, you are too.