Dune Part 2 Movie Review: There is plenty to admire about Denis Villeneuve's commitment to never compromising on his vision. His films may not be the run-of-the-mill fare, but that has never stopped him from holding back on how he presents his films on the big screen, and lucky for him, he even gets the production companies to back his visual zeal. He made Dune Part 1, adapted from Frank Herbert's novel Dune, which was thought to be unfilmable after a reviled adaptation in the 80s, and turned it into a success not just with the critics but also at the box office. With Dune Part 2, Villeneuve sets the bar several notches while bringing alive this space opera, a love story, a coming-of-age saga and a gargantuan showdown, all wrapped in one film. Dune–Part Two Review: Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya’s Film Is a ‘Masterpiece’! Early Reactions Hail the Visuals and Performances in Denis Villeneuve’s Sci-Fi Epic.

Dune Part 2 continues Paul Atreides' (Timothee Chalamet) journey of living up to his white saviour complex. This time, he is not just backed by a series of prophecies, but he also gets the girl and the blue eyes (in case the Aryanic connotation around his true leader groundwork wasn't clear enough). Paul has now integrated himself with the Fremen, led by Stilgar (Javier Bardiem), proving himself to be an able warrior, and he also wins the affections of Chani (Zendaya), as his visions once prophesied. His mother, Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), pregnant with a daughter, has become more powerful by drinking the mysterious 'Water of Life' and replacing the Reverend Mother. She converses with her unborn child, who aggressively guides her on what to do with Paul.

Watch the Trailer of Dune Part Two:

With Great Powers Comes Greater Genocide

As Paul, now known as Muad'Dib, helps Fremen take down harvester ships looking to mine the 'spice' in their regions, Lady Jessica has bigger ambitions for her son, wanting him to rule over Arakkis. Paul, however, is troubled by new visions where he sees his leadership leading to the deaths of millions.

Meanwhile, Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgard), frustrated by Fremen's attacks on his ships and his nephew Rabban's (Dave Bautista) failure to contain them, appoints his youngest nephew Feyd-Rautha (Austin Butler), a psychopath just like his uncle, as his successor.

A Still From Dune Part 2

Wait, there is one more subplot involving the Emperor (Christopher Walken) and his daughter, Princess Irulan (Florence Pugh), who may have a bigger role in the future of this franchise. Oh yes, Dune Part 3 is also in the works.

Grander In Every Manner

Dune Part 2 is everything you would expect a Denis Villeneuve large-screen experience to be. It is stunningly mounted with some astounding visuals, setpieces and imagery that doesn't feel fake at any single moment, be it when people ride huge sandworms in the vast expanses of deserts or when Villeneuve pushes us into a gladiator battle lusciously shot in bleached colours.

A Still From Dune Part 2

The lavish mounting is visible in nearly every frame, backed by some excellent production design, fantastic VFX work and some gorgeous cinematography from Greig Fraser. The sound design and Hans Zimmer's awe-inspiring score do their bits to raise the epic feel of each scene.

Pump More Money for Dune 3, Please!

Ultimately, it is the master storyteller in Denis Villeneuve who makes everything come together in cohesion to deliver a majestic visual saga.  Once again, like all his films, Dune Part 2 is leisurely paced, but the action scenes and the committed screenplay compensate for most of the unhurried tempo.

A Still From Dune Part 2

If Dune Part 1 found itself stuck in some rut in its buildup for its hero's grand journey ahead and the large world-building, Dune Part 2 enjoys the fruits of its previous instalment's labours - good and bad - as it focuses on Paul's ascension into the prophesied saviour while never stopping with the world-building. Dune Part 1 Movie Review: Timothee Chalamet’s Sci-Fi Film Is a Visual Treat! 

What a Terrific Cast!

It is not just Paul who gets to see the character explored further, even Lady Jessica and Chani get good arcs. While I found the love story to be a bit impervious to my liking (the fabulous chemistry between Chalamet and Zendaya notwithstanding), I was more invested in Chani and Paul dealing with the latter being set up as the one who would lead others to 'Paradise'.

A Still From Dune Part 2

Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya and Rebecca Ferguson are great in their respective roles. Austin Butler, while he competes with Dave Bautista here when it comes to acting with open mouths, makes for a formidable antagonist I wish I could see a bit more on the screen. The supporting cast involving Javier Bardem, Skarsbard, Bautista, Josh Brolin, Florence Pugh, Walken, Charlotte Rampling, Léa Seydoux, are fine for their parts, though considering how difficult it is to maintain such a major roster, not all characters get to leave an indelible impression.

Final Thoughts on Dune Part 2

Dune Part 2 is a majestic visual saga that solidifies Villeneuve's mastery as a filmmaker, a film that not only defies expectations but raises the bar for epic storytelling. The stunning imagery, the setpieces, the amazing roster of some of the finest actors in town and the visual effects don't become a mere show of grand illusion but rather help guide this epic tale of vengeance wrapped alongside a doomed love story triumphantly to its next chapter.


(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Feb 29, 2024 03:17 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).