The year is 10191, and a war is brewing between the dynasties that rule the empire. Dune takes place against the backdrop of endless desert seas in director Denis Villeneuve’s epic new film. Having previously directed the excellent Blade Runner sequel and Arrival, Villeneuve is no strange to a huge-concept films and this is his most ambitious project yet.
My plus one and I made our way to IMAX Melbourne in Carlton Gardens to experience Dune on one of Australia’s largest screens. It was fitting that this was where we were going to see the film as many of the scenes were filmed specifically to be experienced in IMAX. The huge screen was perfect for showing off the vast scale of this world, from endless deserts to incredibly dangerous (and large) sand worms – it’s not a film you would want to watch at home on a laptop.
This isn’t the first big-screen adaptation of Frank Herbert’s bestselling novel of the same name. Previous adaptions have their own place in movie history, (though personally we thought this was the most engaging). A mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey, Dune tells the story of Paul Atreides, a gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people.
The film stars a who’s who of celebs. Timothée Chalamet (“Call Me by Your Name”), Rebecca Ferguson (“Mission: Impossible – Fallout”), Oscar Isaac (the “Star Wars” franchise), Josh Brolin (“Milk,” “Avengers: Infinity War”), Stellan Skarsgård (HBO’s “Chernobyl,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron”), Dave Bautista (the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films, “Avengers: Endgame”), Stephen McKinley Henderson (“Lady Bird”), Zendaya (“Spider-Man: Homecoming” and “Euphoria”), David Dastmalchian (“Blade Runner 2049,” “The Dark Knight”), and Jason Momoa (“Aquaman,” & “Game of Thrones”) amongst many more well-known faces.
Behind the scenes, Villeneuve also re-teamed with production designer Patrice Vermette (“Arrival”), editor Joe Walker (“Blade Runner 2049,” “Arrival,” “12 Years a Slave”), and director of photography Greig Fraser (“Lion,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”). You also have to listen to the amazing soundtrack by composer Hans Zimmer (“Blade Runner 2049,” “Inception,” “Gladiator,” “The Lion King”) who’s written a truly epic score. With the staggering amount of talent in-front and behind the camera, it’s little wonder this film is so good. A downside of having a story this large in scope is that many of the characters never have a chance to breath or develop – we hope that this is due to there being a potential second and third film in the works that will build out from what this setup.
If you are a fan of Star Wars you will likely get a lot of enjoyment from Dune. Check it out on the big screen – it’s a film that’s too visually stunning to watch at home.
– The Plus Ones
Dune is in cinemas Australia wide from this week. We recommend seeing it at IMAX.
IMAX Melbourne is accessible.