Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Movie Capsule Review: Dune Part 2 with bonus Lynch 84 Dune notes

Last Thursday, I showed the boys the 1984 David Lynch Dune movie. I hadn't seen it since I was pretty young (late teens or early 20s?). I'd forgotten or hadn't realized back then that it was acted and directed much like as if it were a stage production. Sparse sets, heavily enunciated, etc. And of course, watching it now, the personal shields make the characters look like Minecraft or Roblox characters. 

Still, I enjoyed it. It is suitably weird, and while many of the effects do look dated, I think the sandworms hold up after all these years. Plus, you've got to love Patrick Stewart as Gurney. But this film's version of Duncan Idaho really gets treated poorly. If you hadn't read the books you'd wonder why we should even care about his death. 

Oh, then on Saturday, Flynn and I went to see the new Villeneuve Dune Part 2. 

I liked it, and so did he. It has good production values, and it's pretty well acted. In particular, Christopher Walken is restrained as Emperor Shaddam IV, which is good. Maybe it's his age, maybe it's the directing, but wacko Walken of yesteryear would not have worked for this. 

The film follows the book more closely than the 84 film, but then being split into two parts allows for that. And it has been quite a while since I've read the book, so some of my memories of it could be off, but in this film, Paul is very reluctant to 'go south' and lead the Fremen for a good part of the movie, which I don't remember it being such a big character point in the book. Maybe it's time to read it again, though, I may be misremembering. Other than that, I enjoyed it. 

Is it my favorite sci-fi movie of all time? No, but it was definitely worth the wait from part 1. And having just recently (finally) read Dune Messiah, I'm looking forward to the Part 3 coming in a few years.


  1. Funny, we were just watching the trailers for both these films (Lynch's and the new Dune 2) last night, debating whether or not to watch them.

    For me, the 1984 film is iconic, thanks to Lynch's direction and imagery, his personal touches (like all the red-headed Harkonnens). I watched the first of the new Dune films and while there were bits I liked, I found its focus "off;" the tender parts and the dramatic parts were given far less attention (I felt) then the original, instead drawing out the long "action sequences," devoting unnecessary attention to fight scenes. Similar, I suppose, to those awful (IMO) Hobbit films from Peter Jackson.

    1. Part 2 focuses more on the politics than the action. Of course there's the big attack on Arrakeen at the end of the movie, but it's fairly short.