Dune: Part Two – movie review

The second installment in Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s epic 1965 sci-fi novel picks up where Dune (2021) left off. In this chapter, the exiled Duke of House Atreides, Paul (Timothy Chalamet) establishes himself as a leader.

You may remember that in Part One, basically the whole House Atreides was massacred by the evil House Harkonnen on the desert planet Arrakis. Paul and his mother Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) escaped the slaughter and were taken in by the Fremen, a native people of the planet. Now the Fremen put Paul through a series of trials by to test his bravery, and his bona fides.

In his corner is Fremen elder Stilgar (Javier Bardem). He believes in the prophecy of a mother and son bringing prosperity to Arrakis. To that end, he helps elevate Jessica to the status of Reverend Mother, so she can inherit the memories of her female ancestors. Feisty Fremen warrior Chani (Zendaya) develops respect for Atreides and becomes his lover. But dark forces continue to gather and the war with House Harkonnen escalates. The architect is the ruthless Rabban (Dave Bautista), nephew of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgård). But Rabban’s whose grip on production of the valuable mineral known as spice is loosening. But the Baron’s other nephew, the cruel Feyd-Rautha (Austin Butler) is ambitiously eyeing Rabban’s place.

What a remarkable film. Dune: Part Two not only develops the narrative thread, but excels in the special effects department. The filmmakers have pulled out all stops. The desert scenes, coupled with the costuming and sound are nothing short of spectacular. The impact is immediate and ultra-consistent. Villeneuve’s mastery of his craft is magnificent to watch and the big names in the cast are up for all the action and subterfuge in the plotting.

Timothy Chalamet makes for a compelling lead, while Zendaya stands toe-to-toe with him as Chani. I have a big wrap for Rebecca Ferguson as the oracle Jessica. Javier Bardem has a key role as Stilgar, while there is no questioning Josh Brolin’s loyalty as Gurney Halleck. Austin Butler is unrecognisable, but menacing as Feyd-Rautha; and Florence Pugh dignified as Princess Irulan.  Charlotte Ramling brings appropriate arrogance and entitlement to Reverend Mother Mohiam.

I recall saying something similar after the first instalment, but it is worth repeating: if you’re lucky enough to have the chance to see Dune: Part Two at IMAX, please do. It’s genuinely an immersive experience; the best way to see the film. Regardless, I’d urge you to view it on the biggest screen, with the best sound quality, possible.

Dune: Part Two is even better than Part One. I wish I could see Part Three tomorrow.

Alex First

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