Dune Part Two - Movie Review (Spoilers)

I just finished watching Dune Part 2. One of the best cinematic experiences I’ve ever had, genuinely in awe. Dune Part One is an achievement in scale and filmmaking, but the character arcs and pacing were just not there. It was a lot of setup of which I am grateful for, but Part Two just freaking hums. Beautiful and epic in scope the entire time, satisfying arcs, a huge and more involved cast, even some natural humor. I think it was well assumed Denis would come back with a homerun this time around, but this thing shatters the bat.

The scenes of the Harkonnens on Giedi Prime are the best portrayal of a futuristic, “alien” world I’ve ever seen due to how distinct and unlike reality they are.

The way the planet is lit so harshly, yet has a “black sun” that saps the colour from everything, reducing the world to a diegetic greyscale, the complete lack of flora and fauna, the completely smooth and hairless inhabitants, and the horrifically beautiful black “fireworks” that are unlike anything I’ve ever seen all worked so perfectly to create this unimaginably alien and inhuman environment.

Denis has such an impressive visual language. Obviously he just made the headline rounds saying how much he hates dialogue and while that's obviously hyperbolic, the things he can do with frame are incredible. His sense of scale is seemingly unmatched in filmmaking right now, there's so many incredible shots of endless desert plains, slow moving ships or armies, or even just a fetus or Walken's face. That shot where Paul is running towards the middle of a sand dune caving in as he's about to jump on the sand worm is wildly impressive. Just think for a moment how hard it must be to shoot in an endless desert and keep it interesting for the eyes. The visual storytelling is doing a lot to keep our eyes busy and it's part of what keeps this from feeling three hours.

Paul and Chani feel so right in this giving it an amazing emotional core. Zendaya is an actress I like a lot but she stunned me here, especially with that final shot. She's selling how tough Chani would have to be to live out there, but she's not prickly. She's vulnerable with Paul it's not something he has to force her to be, you can see she's kind but pragmatic and hardened. Both times I've seen this movie now I get really emotional when they kiss, just after having an honest conversation and the great line "I would very much like to be equal with you" and the incredible score that builds up that whole time. It's a moment that totally invests you in the rest of this insane movie plot.

Timothee also really surprised me with how commanding he was of the screen in the final act. I'm no Dunehead outside of seeing the movie renditions but when he finally says "Dune" it is somehow the most awesomely legit way anyone has ever dropped a movie title in the movie. That scene starts a momentum that takes us all the way through the following battle and to the credits, really impressive. It can't be overstated how well cast these are how everyone gets their shine. Javier Bardem in particular is simultaneously having so much fun playing this incredibly sincere religious fanatic. Delivering "He is too humble to admit he's the one! Another reason he must be! It is foreseen!" in a made up language like he did is honestly a masterclass line reading.

The moral complexity on display here has to be somewhat unmatched in this budget of filmmaking, right? Really the only thing in this movie that could be widely agreed upon is the Harkonnen's are not very nice. Other than that it's this massive jumbo of politics, religion, honor, freedom, destiny, and scheming. The second time I saw this I really zeroed in on how everyone was fighting the same war but for different reasons. Chani wants the Fremen free and lead by their own people, Paul wants to avenge his father, Jessica believes in the destiny and wants to protect her son, Gurney wants to fight for the honor of house Atreides, Javier fights for his religion, and it leads them all to the same battle. It's them aligning until they don't. Paul tries to avoid causing any major harm while purposefully posing as a messiah, but the circumstance forces him to follow his visions. He has to make a choice at some point to hit the gas or not, and that's when Chani and him are forced apart. Worth noting the final shot in this movie is not all of the soldiers boarding their warships, it ends with Chani leaving. Absolutely heart-breaking.


This movie for me is a 9/10 for me, and if you told me it's a 10 I wouldn't disagree. I don't mean to be dismissive of Part 1 which is an achievement on its own, but I don't really see a reason to watch it again unless I'm marathoning. Part 2 was everything I wanted and more, a fully satisfying experience beginning to end. A great love story, action and scale on new levels, a full and vibrant universe with oily fireworks and whole cultures, some natural humor and pathos. I just loved it, and like everyone I really hope Denis gets to finish this the way he wants to. But if he doesn't it's still a massive achievement, and honestly just lucky in this box office landscape, that we got this movie.
If Denis and the cast and crew can stick the landing with Part 3 (which I absolutely believe they will) I think it will be held in high regard.
Dune Part Two - Movie Review (Spoilers) Dune Part Two - Movie Review (Spoilers) Reviewed by Kanthala Raghu on March 01, 2024 Rating: 5

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