Dune is one of the most-anticipated movies of the year — and apparently one of the biggest disappointments. Or it’s a modern-day masterpiece. Either way, you will have a strong response.
Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert canonical novel, starring Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Zendaya, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa, Javier Bardem, and some space-worms (good cast imo), premiered on Friday at the Venice International Film Festival, where it was greeted with… well, this is the first review that I saw online.
DUNE is a *massive* disappointment.
the cinematic equivalent of getting a novelty-sized check for six dollars.
hype is the mind-killer. here's my review: https://t.co/CcYaboWjFi pic.twitter.com/YeyDojfT85
— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) September 3, 2021
“Here is a film consumed by dreams from even before the moment it starts (you’ll see what I mean), but also one so arch and full of empty spectacle that it keeps your imagination on a tight leash,” Indiewire‘s David Ehrlich writes in his C- review. Richard Lawson, from Vanity Fair, was equally let down (“Villeneuve’s film is somehow plodding and hurried at once, flurries of exposition and table-setting ringing around set-piece monoliths”), while Entertainment Weekly‘s Leah Greenblatt praised Dune‘s “awesomeness,” but also criticized the film’s meaning being “endlessly beguiling and just out of reach: a dazzling high-toned space opera written on sand
Here’s the Hollywood Reporter‘s David Rooney:
Perhaps the biggest issue with Dune, however, is that this is only the first part, with the second film in preproduction. That means an awful lot of what we’re watching feels like laborious setup for a hopefully more gripping film to come — the boring homework before the juicy stuff starts happening.
Others had far more positive reactions:
I left DUNE shaking. This is how people seeing 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY back in 1968 for the first time must have felt. The grandeur of this thing is off the charts. However blown away you think you’re going to be, multiply it by ten. #Venezia78
— Joshua Rothkopf (@joshrothkopf) September 3, 2021
I’ve watched #Dune & it’s among the most immersive moviegoing experiences I’ve ever had w/ a sci-fi film. There is masterful filmmaking on display here. When paired w/ its big, monstrous sound, the film wondrously transports you to a new, exciting, horrific yet beautiful world pic.twitter.com/Z0oNUJbiNE
— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) September 3, 2021
Denis Villeneuve's #Dune is epic in a way that guarantees that the term "Epic" should be retired after this. It's perfectly cast, flawlessly crafted, and a gripping adaptation of the first half of the novel. That's important, as the story is incomplete. But what we get enthralls. pic.twitter.com/UtrGCpZbjp
— Sean O'Connell (@Sean_OConnell) September 3, 2021
DUNE Part One is remarkable, stunning, immersive & a truly masterful cinematic achievement. Villeneuve simultaneously created one of the most intimate yet large scale productions I've ever seen. Zimmer's score is an absolute all-timer. Pure cinematic bliss on every single level. pic.twitter.com/UFoEGRE4kI
— Kevin McCarthy (@KevinMcCarthyTV) September 3, 2021
#Dune is a cinematic thunderclap. Maybe my favorite film of the year.
Denis Villeneuve & co. created a phenomenal adaptation of Herbert's work. It feels alien in the way the best sci-fi does and balances visceral violence and cruelty with resilience and hope. An absolute banger. pic.twitter.com/TIJ6qHaHWD
— Dan Casey (@DanCasey) September 3, 2021
.@dunemovie is spectacular. Denis Villeneuve has crafted a visual masterpiece. Greig Fraser’s cinematography is a sight to be seen,simply gorgeous. You can’t take your eyes off the screen. Timothée Chalamet is outstanding. Don't be surprised by a crafts sweep pic.twitter.com/MDUAWDs3GF
— Jazz Tangcay (@jazzt) September 3, 2021
#Venezia78 #Dune Part One. Jaw-dropping gorgeous to watch, rousing to experience. It pumps and pumps and pumps that spice in your veins. Ferguson is commanding, intense as usual. Chalamet gives his best in such a subdued action role. Geometric elegance in chaos. #DuneMovie
— Lorenzo Ciorcalo (@rotovisor) September 3, 2021
I know you’re used to people raving about a movie on social media after it premieres. But trust me when I say Denis Villeneuve's #Dune is a masterpiece not just of science-fiction but of cinema. Haven’t felt transported like that in a movie theater in a long time. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/VvJ5xg8zlb
— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) September 3, 2021
Dune hits theaters and HBO Max on October 22.