The much-anticipated Dune by Denis Villeneuve has finally been released, and to honestly quite mixed reviews. This is one of those divisive movies wherein the same elements that some people love about it, long shots, political intrigue, etc, are the same things that can make other people hate it. I personally sat in the camp of very much enjoying the ride. Dune sits in about the same spot for me as Villeneuve's other films, where I know I just saw a piece of art and it feels more akin to visiting a museum for an artist I'm a fan of rather than going to see the latest blockbuster. This doesn't get me hopping up and down in my seat like Avengers or crying like several other films, but it does leave me completely entranced and with a wide smile on my face. It's an interesting place for this film, as slow-burn sci-fi stories seem to be making a comeback almost exclusively thanks to Villeneuve. He's a director I very much admire for his passion towards this project.
For those unaware, Villeneuve originally read Dune when he was 12 and has wanted to adapt it ever since David Lynch's version in the 1980s came out. Wanting to do an adaptation justice, Villeneuve purposefully made Arrival and Blade Runner: 2049 (two more excellent sci-fi films of his) to give himself experience with the genre. This approach seems to have worked out for him, as Dune part 1 is an excellent sci-fi film that even fans of the books are admitting is a very solid adaptation. It's a film I would certainly, and probably will, watch again. Everything from the cinematography, set design, costuming, acting, to of course the script are carefully crafted and fit so well together to never have a moment that takes you out of this world. That's not to say this film is perfect, because honestly the first perfect film would likely be the last ever needing to be made, but the faults aren't a game over. If you can afford the time, two and a half hours, this film gets a definite recommendation from me. Just be prepared for the fact that this is only technically the first half of the story of Dune, and part two won't be released until likely late 2023. Either way, this movie is here now, and you'll certainly have the time for a few rewatches before part 2.