- Awesome Art: Some who enjoy the prerelease title card have praised it for spelling out "DUNE" with characters that look very similar.
- Awesome Music:
- The first trailer concludes with an epic choral cover of "Eclipse" from The Dark Side of the Moon.
- The legendary Hans Zimmer is in charge of the soundtrack and with the tracks, "Paul's Dream" and "Ripples in the Sand", being released early, you can definitely feel that he really took the desert vibes from the book by heart. Zimmer created an album called "The Dune Sketchbook" as a sort of means to explore what he came up with for the final score. The House Atreides theme, with bagpipes and a booming orchestration, is a perfect fit for a regal ruling house.
- Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The Harkonnens have a weird dog-sized insect creature wandering around which the Baron calls a pet. Its original to the film and never has any effect on the story, so its anyones guess what the purpose is.
- "Common Knowledge": Many early impressions made mention of the movie "missing" various elements that were never in the original book and were, in fact, complete fabrications by David Lynch for the 1984 version. Ironically, the opposite is also true, as the film incorporates a lot of elements and aesthetic choices that hail from the 1984 film and aren't in the book either.
- Fight Scene Failure: The movie follows the original novel's rule that personal shields stop high-speed attacks while being easy to penetrate by slower hits, but the choreography gets quite inconsistent with this through the film. Paul, Gurney and occasionally Duncan are forced to grapple in order to slash slowly (there are even pellet bullets that slow down by themselves so they can pierce shields), yet Duncan and the Sardaukar are generally able to smash through shields with regular-speed strikes, to the point it's possible to forget how shields are supposed to work altogether by the point the Harkonnen attack happens. Most egregiously, the blow that mortally wounds Duncan himself is a full run stab.
- Genius Bonus: It might be unintentional, but the casting of the Spaniard Javier Bardem as a space bedouin in a story with heavy Arabian elements doesn't lack irony, as Spain was an ancient territory of the Umayyad Caliphate until the Spanish Reconquista re-Christianized it. Bardem's mother was even born in Seville, Andalusia, where the Muslim conquest had its main influence.
- Just Here for Godzilla:
- As the adaptation of a cult classic novel, by a cult sci-fi director, Dune obviously has a built-in audience, but beyond that, many viewers come for the actors, especially Zendaya, Jason Momoa and Oscar Isaac. The movie's marketing anticipated that, putting their characters front and center with Timothée Chalamet's and Rebecca Ferguson's, who both have considerable more screentime than the rest of the cast.
- And then there is the nearly literal Godzilla: some viewers are just there for the sandworms.
- Memetic Mutation:
- The All-Star Cast has led to jokes about Christian Bale playing Shai-Hulud.note
- Putting "Sandstorm" by Darude in the trailers is also a popular joke.
- Zendaya is Chani.explanation
- Russian Internet seems to enjoy cracking jokes about the band of the same name, who used to be popular in the nineties (and, for what it's worth, got inspiration for the name from Frank Herbert's book). One of the more popular jokes goes like this: "Are you coming to see Dune (Duna)?" "Are they still performing?".
- Leto's, and later Paul's, emphasis on harnessing the power of Arrakis's resources and people to make House Atreides stronger than ever before makes complete sense, but calling it "desert power" is an awkward way of phrasing it (after the initial comparison to sea and air power). The movie emphasizes that phrase a couple of times during otherwise serious scenes, which leads to a bit of unintentional hilarity.
- Shadout Mapes is a powerfully acted character, but it's hard not to find it funny when she suddenly breaks crying at the top of her lungs, shaken by Jessica's knowledge, and then immediately composes herself and continues talking in the intense manner she was using right before. Her explanation about the shock of the moment doesn't exactly help.
- Tear Jerker:
- When Paul and Jessica are safe in the Stilltent after escaping the Harkonnens, Paul is so devastated by what has happened that he screams at his mother, angrily claiming she and the Bene Gesserit made him a freak for dragging him into Bene Gesserit training, and blaming her for the loss of his father, even as she hugs him to try and comfort him.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Rabban is a character with a great deal of potential, given that he's a sadistic despot who nevertheless has moments of surprising intelligence and competence. But the movie, largely like previous adaptations of the book, omits these moments, with Rabban thus reading as a generic villainous brute—which is especially unfortunate given how Dave Bautista's previous collaboration with Denis Villeneuve demonstrated that he has the acting abilities to sell how Rabban is more than a "muscle-minded tank brain".
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
- Overall the movie was a very faithful adaptation to the spirit of the book, but unfortunately it did not include Idaho's Offscreen Moment of Awesome when he fooled the Harkonnens into shooting a shield with a lasgun, resulting in a small nuclear explosion that wiped out much of their forces. Notably due to the fact that the "never shoot shields with a laser" rule is never mentioned in the film.
- There's also no sign of the Baron's plan to frame Jessica as the traitor, despite also making Gurney much more gruff and humorless, which could work great in seeing him finally loosen up upon realizing his mistake in trying to kill her.
- Uncanny Valley: We never get a good look of the creature in the Baron's throne room, but its spider-like appearance does not make it particularly creepy. The fact that each limb looks far too human however, does. The servants in the Harkonnen court, who all have glossy, hairless and stark white skin and solid black eyes, also look like mannequins come to life.
aka: Dune 2020