In the following review, Wilmington assesses Lynch’s use of dark, obsessive, and bizarre visual imagery in Dune, noting that the film as a whole is not necessarily successful.
The filmmaker who tamed “The Elephant Man” undertakes the grandest vision of them all—the realization on the screen of the epic universe created by Frank Herbert.
It doesn’t take long to realize that basically this isn’t a David Lynch movie—it’s Dune. Lynch doesn’t bring a fresh conception to the material; he doesn’t make the story his own. Rather, he tries to apply his talents to Herbert’s conception. He doesn’t conquer this Goliath—he submits to it, as if he thought there was something to be learned from it. He’s being a good boy, a diligent director.