A cool wind sweeps through the sands of “Dune,” Denis Villeneuve’s chilly, majestic adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic 1965 science-fiction novel.
Hot as it may be on Arrakis, the desert planet that draws the universe’s most powerful interests to its mineral-rich but inhospitable sands, Villeneuve’s film is a solemn slow burn. This “Dune,” a cool-headed colossus, erects a massive, brutalist architecture of otherworldly science-fiction to craft a big-screen spectacle of thundering splendor.
It is, to be sure, rather cool to the touch. Villeneuve does atmospheric exteriors more than he does emotional interiors. In muted monochrome shades, rich textures and deep sonic soundscapes, his specialty — already familiar in the deep shadows of “Sicario,” “Arrival” and “Blade Runner 2049” — is invoking a severe ominousness.
So “Dune” is a more somber trip into the desert than, say, the ferociously frenetic “Mad Max: Fury Road.” Its tale of oppression and…