All I wanted out of this was to troll basic and to see the movie do well enough to get the sequel made. I failed to troll basic but I pissed off half the forum so mission accomplished.
No one is mad. We just feel sorry for you.
Great actors with rigid and awkward dialogue. None of them even had a chance to act.
This, so much. Even Oscar Isaac, who I thought was the most promising casting of the new bunch, really underperformed. He's given plenty of screentime and still doesn't get to act much. Brolin just shouts in lieu of acting for most of the movie. Rebecca Ferguson is fucking awful as Lady Jessica. She brings nothing of the character to the screen. Her version of Lady Jessica has zero strength and spends the entire movie with a bewildered expression except for the times she's crying. So for the 2% of the story where she's supposed to be bewildered, she's wonderful. But then the other 98% she's terrible.
It's a millenial take on the story in that this movie, like Lynch's, starts with a long voice over. But instead of using the voice over to set up the universe and politics, providing a primer for the uninitiated among the audience, Villeneuve's opening voice over is about a character's feeeeeeeelings
about the universe. Fucking pointless and redundant. That is easily shown without voice over. It was also a mistake not to involve the Emperor in the story in any way. Everything regarding the story's politics comes as second hand, often throw away dialogue from other characters, which is really not going to help viewers new to the franchise understand what's going on.
Liet Kynes is easily the biggest misstep in the movie. Even more than Ferguson's Lady Jessica, Duncan-Brewster captures nothing of the character's intelligence or strength. This is a case where I would have felt sorry for any actor trying to live up to Max von Sydow, but that doesn't mean the solution is to go in the complete opposite direction. And since we don't have any internal monologue to rely on, they actually have her cry at one point, to show she sympathizes with the "good guys", since they managed not to convey that in any other way up to that point. Fucking awful.
Here's a sidebar question: Why, when there is only one actor of Asian descent in the movie, is his character the ONLY ONE IN THE MOVIE with a crazy over the top, almost cartoony accent? It's an international cast set in a far future universe. Is he supposed to come from Planet Asia or something? It doesn't kill the movie or anything, but it was a head-scratcher and a little distracting sometimes.
And hey, did anyone notice that Paul never once in the movie recites the "Fear is the mind killer..." thing? He did in the trailer but not in the actual movie. Since there was no inner monologue, he kind of got fucked here. So their solution was in the scene where it was vital he be thinking it during the Reverend Mother's test, they have Lady Jessica recite it to herself OUT LOUD outside the door while crying, and with constant intercuts back to Paul... to hopefully give the impression somehow that he's also thinking of the quote. Fucking laughably bad.
And hey, what's another thing Lynch managed to get right that Villeneuve skips over, IN SPITE OF THE SUPER LONG RUNTIME? Princess Irulan! If Villeneuve handled the traitor subplot completely incompetently, get ready for another very important plot point that's going to come out of nowhere when he suddenly has her show up out of the blue.
The more Villeneuve's movie sinks in, the more it really feels like a pretty-looking shitshow. If Lynch hadn't botched his ending so bad, I would say he made a better Dune movie by accident than Villeneuve did while trying his harderst.
Now for some good things about the new movie:
Henderson as Thufir was wonderful. Absolutely perfect.
I've heard a lot of people say Zendaya is talentless. I don't agree. She's no Meryl Streep or anything, but she's a gigantic step up from Sean Young. It's not even close. She has a perfect look and voice for the character.
Zimmer is always very solid, but this has to be far and away his most ambitious film score. It doesn't always work, and about 50% of the time it gets kind of obnoxious, but I really admire his swinging for the fences. It's a fucking ballsy score.
Chalamet was fine. Not great, but acceptable. All the things that make him perfect for a Wes Anderson movie make him not great for anything else. But I can't think of a single currently-working actor in his age range who would have done any better. So whatever.
I was really glad they included all the bull imagery (even if Isaac's relaying of his father's story was horribly told). It felt like this movie missed a lot of other things, so it was nice to see them get something right.