Jakob Freudendal’s review published on Letterboxd:
Nothing can prepare you for the grand-scale epic Denis Villeneuve has in store with this instant science fiction classic, and perhaps the best first entry in a franchise since ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ and ‘The Matrix’.
Although interpreting well-known themes of environmentalism, totalitarianism and religion, that have been seen explored hundreds of times on screen since the release of Frank Herbert’s influential novel, everything feels new through the masterful lens of Villeneuve (working for the first time with great DoP Greg Fraser).
The story succeeds where ‘Blade Runner 2049’ failed, simply because it is allowed time to develop organically and be fully fleshed out. Sure, there is exposition, but all information is to the point. Villeneuve focuses on spacecrafts in motion, the specificities of the different planets and the movements and bodies of the main characters, all of which seem fully formed from the get go. The result is a riveting spectacle unmatched by current Hollywood filmmaking.
The worldbuilding is extraordinary, rivaling ‘Game of Thrones’ when it was still at its best. Villeneuve’s mastery is apparent from the decision to focus more on the complex power plays at hand, rather than indulge in unnecessary set pieces. This makes it all the more effecting once everything goes to shit, with some of Villeneuve’s best suspense scenes since ‘Sicario’.
Timothée Chalamet is great in the lead, but Oscar Isaac really blew my mind with his deepfelt performance. From this to ‘The Card Counter’, he has solidified his position as one of the most interesting actors working right now.
Please go see this on the biggest screen possible (Also Zimmer's pitchperfect score demands the loudest speakers possible). This is the kind of film that brings hope to blockbuster filmmaking. And sadly, it is not automatically guaranteed high gross and renewal like other blockbusters of this day and age (I am looking at you ‘Fast and the Furious’).
Yes, I am hyped. Welcome aboard.