Dune: Part Two Review

Reviews Films




Dune: Part Two is the much anticipated sequel to 2021’s sci-fi epic – Dune. With Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049) returning to the director’s chair to complete the story of the first book in the series, fans of Frank Herbert’s novels and film fanatics alike are anticipating this film to be even grander than the original.

In this second instalment, Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) allies with Chani (Zendaya) and the fierce Fremen, his heart aflame with the desire for retribution against those who brought ruin upon his noble house. Amidst the throes of conflict, torn between his enduring passion for Chani and the cosmic stakes that hang in the balance, Paul confronts a daunting crossroads. Bearing the burden of prophecy upon his shoulders, he embarks on a treacherous journey, determined to forge a new destiny and thwart the looming spectre of doom that he alone can see.

Truth be told, I wasn’t massively familiar with the world of Dune until recently. I was aware of the book series; though I’d never read it, and as far as the David Lynch (Twin Peaks) film, I’d seen the odd scene here and there but had no clue what I was even looking at. My first proper introduction to Dune was Denis Villeneuve’s 2021 film, which was incredible. The world building, stunning set and costume design, and the ability to tell such a dense lore-heavy story so effortlessly was masterful. I was more than excited to be a part of that world again as I walked into the cinema.

Dune: Part Two is a cinematic experience like no other. With so much politics, lore and character development to explore in under 3 hours, Villeneuve has crafted a story that left me craving more. Fans of the first Dune film will be delighted to hear that it’s more of what they love – though this sequel is unlikely to bring in any new fans as the film doesn’t stray far from the cinematic language of its predecessor.  

Dune: Part Two shines in almost every aspect, but its slow pacing did hinder my enjoyment at times. The story is incredibly heavy with so many layers and sub-plots that  it can feel a little tedious to sit through. I never lost interest in what was happening, but I did start getting restless in my seat during some scenes. The near 3 hour runtime does show in parts with certain sections dragging. The film tries its best to combat this with more action set pieces sprinkled throughout but it wasn’t quite enough for me.

With such a rich story to tell, Dune: Part Two introduces a whole new host of characters to us, and thankfully (apart from one) the film is full of career-defining performances. The true stand-out, in my eyes, was Timothée Chalamet’s Paul Atreides. His acting prowess and ability to play such a multilayered character was captivating. His on-screen chemistry with Zendaya’s Chani and Josh Brolin’s Gurney were excellent. The only member of the cast that muddled an otherwise stellar line up, I’m afraid to say, was Javier Bardem’s Stilgar. His “comedic” moments felt forced after the first few quips and didn’t get any better as they continued throughout the duration of the film.

The costume and makeup department also deserve major props. Austin Butler’s Feyd-Rautha prosthetics were so convincing. I didn’t realise until I was watching interviews with the cast after watching the film that he didn’t shave off his hair and eyebrows.The fact that Butler could still portray such an expressive character through all of the prosthetics was nothing short of impressive, and led to a truly intimidating foe. 

Dune Part Two gets a lot right. The film is truly epic in every sense of the word. Watching this film on a gigantic screen with Dolby Atmos surround sound was an experience like no other. This second film expands on what made the first so engaging and improves on most things, though unfortunately misses the mark for some others. With the hopes of a third film in the near future, I’m looking forward to seeing how Villeneuve can improve upon the few shortcomings of this film and see how far he can push his cinematic craftsmanship. 

Rating 8/10