When I heard Dune was being remade, I was excited and nervous. I was excited because I love the books and even love the 1984 version. However, I hated the series that was released a few years ago. And as much as I love the 1984 Dune, it still didn’t quite translate the book into the movie that I wanted it to be.
Once the cast was released, my hopes doubled in size. They chose two of my man crushes to play two of my favorite characters (Jason Momoa and Josh Brolin). One of my favorite actors, Oscar Isaac, was picked to portray the Leader of House Atreides. Dave Bautista, who I’ve been a fan of since his WWE days, was cast as supervillain Beast Rabban Harkonnen. And two of the hottest young actors in Hollywood, Zendaya and Timothee Chalamet, were cast as Chani and Paul Atreides. Plus, talented actors like Javier Bardem and Stellan Skarsgard, were given prominent roles.
As the studio released images and videos, I no longer became nervous about the film. Then, while seeing Shang-Chi, I saw the trailer in the theater and the trailer alone was worth the price of admission. But I feared I was setting the film up for failure before I ever saw it. I was too excited. Between the great story, fantastic cast, and visionary director Denis Villeneuve, how could it possibly go wrong?
I’ve seen it twice now; both times with people that knew nothing about the books or the 1984 version. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie from the opening scene to the last. However, I had to constantly explain what was going on throughout the movie. Neither person I saw the movie with could follow who was who and why they were important. Nor did they fully get why the spice on the planet Arrakis (The spice fuel space travel and used for locals’ religious purposes) was so important. It is a complicated story, which is why it’s been hard to tell on screen. For those seeing it for the first time, read the book or at least do some research before seeing it.
I enjoyed the movie and liked it more the second time I saw it. If you can, go see it in the theater. It’s a big movie with a lot of great special effects. However, it’s still good if you see it on the small screen. The acting is spot on and even though the story is complicated, it’s fun to watch unfold. Remember though, the movie is titled “Dune: Part One.” The book has been broken in half for the film, so you won’t get the entire story. We’ll need to wait a couple more years.
Let’s get to why you are reading this post. Is Dune appropriate for kids?
Minor spoiler below:
Chances are, you’ve already decided. I did. I watched it first before I let my 9-year-old see the movie. I would not let my 6-year-old see this movie. There’s a lot of violence and scary images. The main villain played by Stellan Skarsgard can be grotesque and scary. People die from close hand-to-hand combat and from explosions. And if you’re familiar with Dune, you know about the giant sandworms that devour everything in their path. There’s also a scene where a naked man is tied to a chair. You do not see any private areas because the table and chair are strategically filmed.
Here’s what to expect:
Violence: There’s a lot and it’s intense. If your kids have seen Justice League or Avengers Endgame, they’re probably going to be okay with Dune:
Scary Images: Many.
If you have sensitive kids, you should probably watch the movie first and then decide if it is right for your child. The movie is intense and long. It’s a lot for a young audience member to sit through. For my 9-year-old, we watched the movie in parts, which worked for him.