Genre Guesstimation – Dune (1984)


The idea behind this feature (Genre Guesstimation) is for me to watch a bunch of new movies (or ones that I haven’t seen many times) from the chosen monthly GG genre in order to expand my knowledge of movies within that particular genre.

This month’s genre has been chosen by DJ Valentine of Simplistic Reviews and we will be reviewing our favorite Reluctant Hero Movies.

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of May by sending them to reluctantdj@movierob.net

Try to think out of the box! Great choice DJ!

Let’s see if I felt that this movie would be worthy of being in the company of my others favorite movies in the genre of Reluctant Hero Movies..

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will let it pass over me and through me. And when it has passed I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where it has gone, there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” – Paul

Number of Times Seen – A few times (Cable in the 80’s and 11 May 2020)

Brief Synopsis – A young prince travels to a magical desert planet where he tries to help the population overcome warlords that wish to take control of the most powerful element in the universe.

My Take on it – This is a film that I’ve seen a few times and always felt that it had so much more potential than is realized.

They unfortunately truncate the story too much that it’s more difficult to really grasp the epic feel of such a story.

Most of the characters are developed only superficially and that makes it even harder to like any of them.

Even the lead character of Paul (played by Kyle MacLachlan) is not developed properly.

The story is a very complex one yet they never spend enough time explaining the exposition in order for the viewer who hasn’t read the novel to fully understand what is going on.

This, in turn, makes it harder to care about what will happen and more importantly why it will happen.

The special effects are pretty good (especially the creatures in the sand) and they help keep things a bit more intriguing to watch unfold even if something constantly feels missing.

Paul is a good leader, but his role in the rebellion isn’t developed enough for the viewer to get a better understanding of how much he cares for the cause especially since he himself doesn’t feel convinced enough that he is doing the right thing.

I have high hopes that the upcoming theatrical adaptation of this story will do more justice to the work of Frank Herbert.

Bottom Line – Great story that is messed up by trying to truncate the runtime. The characters are presented in a far too superficial way and it’s hard to like any of them even the lead played by MacLachlan.  The story is a very complex one and they fail to take the time to give enough exposition that would help make us care more about what will happen and more importantly why. The special effects are done well and they help keep things a bit more interesting to watch, but it’s always apparent that something is missing.  Even having Paul as the leader of the revolt isn’t developed well enough for us to care about his cause especially since he himself doesn’t feel convinced enough that it’s right. Hopefully, the upcoming theatrical adaptation will do a better job with this story.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Writer and director David Lynch has said he considers this movie the only real failure of his career. To this day, he refuses to talk about the production in great detail, and has refused numerous offers to work on a Special Edition DVD. Lynch claims revisiting the movie would be too painful an experience to endure. (From IMDB)

Genre Grandeur Worthy? – Unfortunately, the story is drawn out too much here and this is ultimately a very weak adaptation of an epic novel.

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)

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One thought on “Genre Guesstimation – Dune (1984)

  1. Pingback: Genre Grandeur May Finale – Die Hard (1988) – Simplistic Reviews | MovieRob

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