Film Review: Despite Sandy Start and Trope Pitfalls, 'Dune' Could be the Next 'Star Wars'

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CHICAGO – Everything has ‘potential’ and in examining that you reveal a little bit about yourself. Seeing the ‘potential’ in something is inherently an exercise in optimism because you take what you see and understand that it could do or be better. Criticism is also a key component when it comes to discussing ‘potential’ because without a critical eye you can’t see beyond what is to see what could be.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

One of the final, inevitable parts of exploring ‘potential’ is developing a degree of dissatisfaction. If you completely enjoyed the product, then you have no fantasies of how it could improve, so there has to be something that didn’t live up to your standards. I know what you’re thinking, this is a long-winded way of saying that I enjoyed Dune, but while it has the potential to be the next great space opera, there is cautious, critical optimism that has to be maintained. I’ve been burned in the past.

Exploring the world of “Dune” was always going to be a daunting task. There is such a detailed history and mythology that is meticulously crafted akin to the Greek epics of old. Much like being forced to read book behemoths like “The Odyssey” and “The Iliad”, trying to get through “Dune” is an equally doom-filled pursuit. There are so many distinct groups of people, each with important family names and titles, and each with their self-serving motivations. We are told a brief history of the spice planet, including the origin story of its occupation by outside invaders, and then are thrown into the economic/political changing of the guard and what it means to the Atreides family.

“Dune” in theaters and streaming on HBO Max on October 22nd. Featuring Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Zendaya, David Dastmalchian, Chang Chen, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa, and Javier Bardem. Directed by Denis Villeneuve. Written by Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve, and Eric Roth. Rated “PG-13”

StarClick here for Jon Espino’s full review of “Dune”

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Photo credit: Warner Bros

StarClick here for Jon Espino’s full review of “Dune”

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