Movie Review: ‘Dune (2021)’ Lacks Storyline Despite Stunning Visuals


Poster courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment

Dune (2021) opens in the sea of sand. Paul Atreides, the prince of ocean planet Caladan with visions of the future, faces trials and tribulations on the way to reaching his destiny.

The movie is based on Dune, a science fiction novel written by American author Frank Herbert, the world’s best-selling science fiction novel.

Despite the film’s powerful visuals and stunning music, its story is not complete. Without having explicit knowledge of this event, the plot may confuse audience members who are not familiar with the novel.

An important background historical event in the Dune world, the Butland Jihad, wasn’t explained in the movie. It was a devastating war between man and artificial intelligence that ended in a human victory. Since then, artificial intelligence, including laser guns and other high-tech weapons were banned because it would collide with the shielding field to trigger a nuclear explosion.

The political system also evolved back into feudal times, when emperors ruled the universe and families managed their own land and planets.

Dune was promoted as a complete film in all the trailers. However, the story ended in Paul joining the Fremen to fulfill his father’s goal of bringing peace to Arrakis without revenge.

The themes that generated the success of the Dune series, including interstellar empires, religious groups with mysterious spiritual abilities, desert planets, high-tech cold weapons, are no longer seen as novel or original.

Interstellar empires, religious groups with mysterious mental powers, desert planets, high-tech cold weapons, prophetic saviors are all portrayed before in other movies. Nothing about the movie’s plot or execution sets it apart in this regard.

Unless you’re familiar with the novel Dune or a big sci-fi movie fan, go ahead and give this one a pass.