Mini Film Review – Dune (1984)

Yesterday I watched Dune (1984); and it was alright! Directed by David Lynch; and starring Kyle MacLachlan, Francesca Annis, and Kenneth McMillan; Dune is a science fiction film based on the book of the same name by Frank Herbert. Set in the far future, where interstellar travel and prolonged life is made possible by the Spice; a conflict has erupted between two great houses in the empire; leading the Emperor of the Known Universe (José Ferrer) to take drastic measures. If it hadn’t have been for the recent adaptation of Dune; I probably would never have considered watching this film. I have seen a collection of cool clips from this version, but this is the first time I have seen this one in full. It was an OK experience, but I couldn’t help but constantly consider the differences between the two versions. On the negative side this version has visual effects that have not aged very well; with the shields in particular looking goofy and ridiculous. Also the battle scenes are repetitive, long, and rather boring to watch. But on the plus side, this version has a lot more positives than last year’s film. Firstly the plot in this version is far better explained from start to finish; allowing those who have not read the book a chance to understand anything and everything, instead of grabbing hold of the rare subtleties in hope of understanding a brief second of dialogue! The film’s set pieces and practical effects are a real joy and carry a real detail of beauty. It also makes much better use of it’s star power (such as Virginia Madsen, Linda Hunt, Patrick Stewart, Sting (not the real one sadly), and Jürgen Prochnow, to name but a few), rather than just flinging them in for good measure! Plus the soundtrack is a whole lot more evident and on show, allowing you to really feel the power in the chords, rather than just having a cool chanting scene in the middle of an eternity! Yes the film is a bit goofy when compared by today’s standards; but for those who wish to see an easier storytelling experience (which was barely in existence in the 2021 film); there is another Dune out there for you to watch, and quite possibly; even enjoy! 

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