Tuesday 9 April 2024

Dune: Part Two (2024)

The film that fans of Dune: Part One were forced to wait an extra five months to see in cinemas, that delay seems to have done nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of those eager for more visually gorgeous sci-fi on the big screen. It certainly gave me time to FINALLY watch the first instalment and join those who were eagerly awaiting the concluding part of the tale. Except, and I feel it’s important to say this somewhere in this review, this isn’t really a conclusion to the tale. It’s another lengthy chapter, and I was disappointed as the end credits rolled after an ending that didn’t feel like a proper ending. It might be in line with the source material, and there is certainly more to come from Denis Villeneuve working in this world, but that didn’t help me when I was underwhelmed by the way in which things just started to move towards the next part of the epic tale.

I will give a brief, and very poor, summary of the plot. After the events of the first film, Paul Atreides (Tinothée Chalamet) and his pregnant mother, Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), are living with the desert-dwelling Fremen on the planet of Arrakis. Powerful people still want to destroy the Fremen, all to control the spice and become even more powerful, but Paul may well be the secret weapon that helps to end the ongoing battles. Or he may well cause even more destruction and bloodshed. There are strong bonds forged, and broken, there is a prophecy that many start to doubt, and there is a need to learn how to walk without rhythm in order to stay safe from the giant sandworms.

Although a visual feast from start to finish, as well as an aural feast too (thanks to Hans Zimmer and everyone working in the sound department), Villeneuve and Jon Spaihts have once again done a magnificent job of compressing an epic tome into a digestible and entertaining movie. It has a slightly different tone from part one, mainly due to the fact that we are witnessing Paul exploring his true potential, but it’s often the equal of the first film.

The cast are perfect, as many of them already proved last time around. Both Chalamet and Ferguson get to be a bit stronger and meaner this time, which is an interesting change to their characters, Javier Bardem has a bit more fun in his role, and Zendaya gets to do a lot more than just be some mysterious woman in a vision. Christopher Walken and Florence Pugh are sorely underused, as is the wonderful Léa Seydoux, while the likes of Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, and Josh Brolin are given just time to stay involved in the ongoing plotting and scheming until Austin Butler comes onscreen and threatens to steal the entire movie away from everyone.

I have less to say about this than I had to say about Dune: Part One, but only because it is so perfectly in line with the groundwork set out a few years ago. Villeneuve is arguably one of the best directors around when it comes to creating an entire world in which to immerse viewers (imagine the worlds we could see if he ever worked alongside Guillermo del Toro), and this is incredible stuff. It’s grandiose, it seems to emanate dry heat from every frame, and the prospect of getting to spend more time in this world is the silver lining to the small cloud that is that non-ending.

Much like the spice featured at the heart of the tale, this is pure and powerful stuff. And that’s without even mentioning how depressingly it parallels events in our reality that have been ongoing for decades. 


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  1. I still haven't watched the first part but maybe when this is available to rent or stream I'll do that so I can watch them somewhat together.

    1. As long as you allow yourself to be completely immersed, that's the main thing.