Mini Review

Dune (1984)

Last Watch Date - May 13, 2023
Total Times Watched - Twice?


I already mentioned my feelings on the Dune story in the Dune '21 review, so if you are craving some context on that, GO THERE FIRST.

I have seen this before. I think. Maybe just parts of it. I didn't remember big chunks of it, but I did remember pieces, so who knows. What I did know going in was that this was a bit of a cheesy take on the story and that it had some stars in it. What I didn't realize is HOW MANY stars it has. And that Toto did the music. And Brian Eno did the prophecy theme. I did know David Lynch directed it, and I also knew he disowned it for how it turned out. SO...

This cast kind of sucks. I know it shouldn't given their credits, but man they're bad in this. The over-acting is so silly, and you'll see Paul Smith (aka Bluto from Popeye or Willard from Pieces) hamming it up instead of appearing menacing. You also get to see Sting be some sort of caricature of a villain? I'm not even sure what you'd call him. Lady Jessica is hilariously melodramatic at the weirdest times. Alia has this bizarre voice dub, but it was a little kid so whatever. I had a fun time recognizing basically EVERY actor from some other movie where, even if it sucked, they were assuredly better than this.

The story itself isn't very good, so there isn't much to work with. That plays out in the movie. It takes over half of the movie to get to the good stuff, and they kind of gloss over it all. It's like Act 1 is 85% of the movie, Act 2 is 5% and Act 3 is 10%. Very weird structure. But give this movie credit, it does stick to the book better than '21 did (and presumably what '23 will do for the second half).

The special effects in this are abysmal, but it's also the 80s. They do mix practical and computerized effects, but they really should've made the worms a bit more intimidating. They're SO SLOW that they almost seem to be a static element rather than some sort of stalker that will eat from the sands below. The costumes are wild and people have eyebrows that look more like small pompadours with mentats having huge smudges of red around their mouth. You know what they meant it to be, but it looks more like they have a raging case of oral herpes.

Despite all that, it's not really all that bad. It's goofy as hell and TOO LONG, but it's not the worst way to spend a couple hours. There are segments that I enjoyed, while there were others that I almost fell asleep watching. In the middle of the day. How does that balance things out?


No. This is better in some ways than Dune '21, but also much, much worse in others. It gets a bonus point for being the complete story, despite glossing over so many details to get there. The negative reviews must flow.

4 Fatties out of 10