In the distant future, a war emerges between powerful political dynasties on the desert planet Araknis over the control of the mining of Spice, which is needed for interstellar space travel. The Atreides ruling family tries to align itself with the indigenous population known as Fremen.
I read the entire series of Dune novels in the 1970s. Since Frank Herbert tended to write imaginative, complicated, and downright weird novels, I thought that a movie adaptation might be difficult. The 1984 movie was okay for its time, but it fell flat with audiences. The film was too complex and too esoteric.
Three minutes into Dune, the title screen reveals that this 2.5-hour movie is only part 1. I was disappointed at first, but it is better this way. Dune is so complicated that you need a roadmap to keep up. The film doesn't skimp on detail. It provides a very rich story faithful to the book, which is maybe why it only covers about half of the first novel.
The script feels perfect. Parts of it drag on a bit because there is much detail to cover. The movie adds many scenes to make it more cinematic, so it feels more like a 21st-century film.
The performances are good, but the complexity and weirdness of the story overshadow everything else. Timothée Chalamet is a bit subdued as the main character Paul Atreides, but Jason Mamoa (Aquaman) stands out as the soldier Duncan Idaho.