Is Denis Villeneuve’s ultra sci-fi epic DUNE the new Star Wars or Lord Of The Rings? After three viewings Annlyel thinks it could be…
A little over a week ago I watched Dune after hearing a growing amount of praise for the film for a month straight. The praise seemed legitimate. But after seeing a critic cite the film as the “next The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars” I was skeptical. Was Dune really that good or would it personally not live up to the hype? Well, it did. Oh, boy did it live up to the hype.
I haven’t watched a movie that felt like a true cinematic experience like that in years. And that was just the first half of an even greater story! After seeing the film three times my feverish obsession with this movie has not dwindled. In fact, it’s only heightened.
DUNE: PART TWO
Dune: Part Two was announced on Tuesday and of course I felt like screaming with joy. Then I just recently realized that Denis Villeneuve is even thinking about adapting the second book, Dune: Messiah, into what would round his films as a solid trilogy. And now my mind is officially whirling with anticipation for the possibilities.
One thing that’s certain with Villeneuve, he’s a great moviemaker. In the last eight years, he’s made Prisoners, Sicario; Arrival; Blade Runner 2049, and now Dune. Every one of those films deserves to be on a list of the best films in the 21st Century. And Dune has found a way to tell literally half a story and be just as compelling; if not more so than most movies that have come out in the last twenty years. It’s astonishing!
BETTER THAN STAR WARS?
I’m not one to get too wrapped up in the hype but I haven’t felt like this about a movie in a very long time. Dune is something I never quite realized I needed; a sci-fi/fantasy epic of biblical proportions. Star Wars used to be that. A tale of heroes and villains and a Chosen One whose destiny was to bring peace to the galaxy. But as the story has evolved the narrative has grown weaker. Anakin was the Chosen One but then he wasn’t so Luke was the Chosen One but then fast forward to the Sequel Trilogy and suddenly Rey is “all of the Jedi.” It doesn’t make sense.
THE VILLENEUVE EFFECT
Thankfully, Villeneuve has a throughline to follow. A pathway built by two epic novels that Frank Herbert created in the 70s’ that shook the world with his groundbreaking take on the sci-fi genre. He just has to adapt them and wow, has he not disappointed so far. Dune is The Fellowship of the Ring…if The Fellowship of the Ring ended literally when the Fellowship was first formed in Rivendell. And yet Villeneuve found a way to take this dense story and transform it into something truly special.
He gave meaning to the first half. Providing further detail to Paul’s relationship with his father and his bond with his teacher and best bud, Duncan Idaho. He added depth to the Fremen through the small but powerful performances by Javier Bardem as Stilgar and Sharon Duncan-Brewster as Liet Kynes. And he allowed the story to breathe, providing a sense of majesty to a story that could’ve been as boring as boring could get.
But the love and care that went into this film were apparent and you can literally feel it in every frame, in every nuance oozing through the screen. It’s magnificently woven and to think we may get an entire trilogy handled with this much attention to detail seems unbelievably fantastic.
If so and we do get Dune, Dune: Part Two, and Dune: Part Three, it could honestly be the next great trilogy alongside the likes of The Godfather Trilogy, the Dollars Trilogy, and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Heh. And just when I thought I would never see a film as profoundly fantastic and immersive as The Lord of the Rings ever again…
Thank you, Dune.
Dune is produced by Legendary Pictures and is playing in theatres now!
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Hello everyone. My name is Annlyel James. I’m a young woman who loves movies of all genres (specifically ‘Star Wars’ and Marvel movies.) I am also a Senior Correspondent for The Future of the Force.