The long-awaited remake of the sci-fi epic Dune it received critical acclaim on Friday 3 for its stunning visual spectacle, though some early reviews claimed that only the most ardent fans will enjoy the narrative.
Dune premiered at the Venice Film Festival on Friday and will hit theaters and HBO Max’s streaming service on October 22nd. The film is adapted from Frank Herbert’s 1965 book about an intergalactic battle for control of a precious resource.
The book was made into a 1984 film directed by David Lynch. Fans expected the new movie from Denis Villeneuve more captured the spirit of Herbert’s work.
starring Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya, the film “gains five stars for building the world and about two and a half for the narrative,” said the film critic at Variety Owen Gleiberman. “It’s not just that the story loses emotion. It loses any sense of being emotionally involved.”
Eighty-five percent of the 27 ratings collected on the Rotten Tomatoes website were considered positive by Friday afternoon.
Some predicted that the film will compete for Oscars in photography and other technical categories.
Robbie Collins, from The Daily Telegraph, called it “science fiction at its most majestic, disturbing, and engaging form” and The Guardian’s Xan Brooks praised the film as “blockbuster cinema at its dazzling, dazzling best.”
Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a “B” rating.
“If you’re already immersed in Herbert mythology, you’re going to be thrilled with every whispered word; if you walk in without knowing the difference between a Holtzman shield and a hole in the ground, it’s a longer walk,” said Greenblatt.
David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter also said the “mysterious” details might delight “Herbert geeks, but will make almost everyone give up.”
“That doesn’t negate the frequent assertion that the book is not meant to be made into a movie,” he added. “At least not in the first part of what is being heralded as a two-part saga.”