Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Sci-fi/Adventure - PG-13 - 2h 35m
I saw Dune this weekend after carefully putting on three N-95 masks, rubber gloves, and my trusty face shield. Much like the Fremen, I know what it takes to survive in a deadly environment. I quickly walked to my seat, my head down, not making eye contact with any of the total weirdos not wearing masks. I had purchased three entire rows' worth of tickets to make sure I would not be too close to anyone else.
Then, I just had to wait for the show to start.
But as Hans Zimmer's magnificent score shook us in our seats, I was shaking for a different reason: fear. Fear of death. I was distracted from the beautiful opening shots of Arrakis since I was counting how many people in the theatre were not wearing masks (49 out of 52). I was reminded of how the white off-world invaders did not know how to adapt to the harsh environment of the desert planet and were so anti-science that they did not wear masks (I am the good guy in this scenario, obviously).
As the drama of House Harkonnen and House Atreides unfolded in brilliant cinematic style in front of me, I had to ask myself if it was worth it: was it worth it to enjoy what is perhaps a defining moment for modern sci-fi in exchange for a 0.0001% chance of dying? Much as Paul Atreides had to stick his hand in the box and master his will not to pull it out despite agonizing pain, I had to become the Lisan al Gaib of modern-day America. I had to pass the test so I could bring you this review.
Also, the movie had this weird line about fear being the mind-killer, which just seems irresponsible in the age of COVID when being constantly afraid is just being a good citizen. How could I possibly enjoy this movie when every moment, every second of this film I was just thinking how I could be taking a breath filled with COVID and dooming myself to the symptoms of a mild flu?
The worms were pretty cool though.
2 stars out of 5
In this instructional video, Chinese soldiers are trained how to shout the wrong pronouns at American forces: