Dune: Part Two – Film Review

Written by on 20th March 2024

By Joseph Lynch

Dune: Part Two (2024). Credit: Alamy

Film rating: 8/10

Three years after the enigmatic spectacle that was Dennis Villeneuve’s Dune, we are blessed with a sequel – and one that delivers.

Sequels are often regarded as very hit-or-miss in our culture. Sometimes we get ‘The Empire Strikes Back’, other times we get ‘Jaws: The Revenge’. But Dune Two is no let-down. Starring
Euphoria’s Zendaya and a fresh-off-of-Wonka Timothee Chalamet, Villeneuve’s sequel continues where the first let off, portraying the story of Paul Atreides and the rest of the sand warriors in an ever-changing battle for justice.

Whilst the original was heavily praised – and rightly so – for its excellent atmosphere and characters that were nothing short of compelling, it has to be said that the emotional range of said characters was about as dry as the desert environment they live to defend. Luckily, Dune Two miraculously juxtaposes this, employing more complex relationship dynamics, family conflicts and a phenomenally crafted anything-could-happen narrative that allows us as viewers to feel as though everything could come tumbling down at any moment for these

Villeneuve ensures that every scene is laced with poignancy and every character is fed with emotional depth, leaving no scene unchecked. This is a film that has been truly cared for by its director – a quality absent in a lot of recent sci-fi flicks that feels as though they are seemingly churned out as opposed to being properly looked after.

As well as this, the film excels in the action department, providing a range of ground-breaking moments that will make you feel as if you’re in the year 1980 and watching The Empire Strikes Back for the first time. Take precautions – the inner nerd in you is not safe. That is because, despite gratuitously presenting itself as science fiction in both its marketing campaign and aesthetic, Dune Two inhabits an astonishing ability to connect to audiences so easily regardless of what genre they’re into. The escapism levels are off the roof.

Now, to call a film’s scales “off the roof” is obviously quite a sentiment, but make no mistake. If you’re looking to be blown away this weekend, Dune Two is your paradise.

In a world where many lacklustre films falsely make the sci-fi genre appear as though it has passed its sell-by date, Villeneuve reassures us that is still very much thriving and alive. With that being said, Dune Two, just like its main protagonist, comes with flaws. The biggest issue that most will unveil is the runtime. The overlong nature of this film often makes it feel
bloated and draggy.

The entire middle half feels painfully sluggish despite simultaneously feeling so ground-breaking, and the over-exposure of the same, repetitive shots of this sand planet environment make the atmosphere run out of steam after quite a while. I mean, do we really need to see Timothee Chalamet looking over a sandy hill another four times?

Thankfully, the magic resurfaces in the third act of the film, but for those with a tight attention span, the damage has still been done. After all, you can’t expect the magic to linger for an entire two hours and forty-seven minutes, no? It’s just blatant human nature to want to be consistently compelled.

At the end of the day, Dune Two is an astounding albeit flawed love letter to audiences who crave to be blown away. This is a film that will not refrain from pleasing critics but will also
win the hearts of the general public.

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