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Blu-Ray : Highly Recommended
Release Date: March 1st, 2024 Movie Release Year: 2024

Dune: Part Two - Film Review

Overview -

The sci-fi epic everyone has been clamoring for is going strong with Denis Villeneuve's second installment of his Dune (hopefully) trilogy. The artistic director and Warner Bros. listened quite a bit to its audience from the first film a couple of years ago and the result is a much better film with higher stakes and bigger entertainment spectacle. Dune: Part Two acts as a sibling film similar to Empire Strikes Back or The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers in its tone and execution working to complete an epic single story. However, it still stands on its own two legs as something even more extravagant and grande with more action beats making the 165-minute runtime fly swifter than a thopter in a sandstorm. Dune: Part Two is Grade A science fiction at its finest.


Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Release Date:
March 1st, 2024

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take


There were a few issues with Dune: Part One, none of which had to do with the visuals or screenplay so much as the characters felt too distant. The film still made a ton of money even though it was during the height of the pandemic and it being released on streaming so close to its initial theatrical run. Villeneuve created this masterful story from Frank Herbert's novel with rich characters and exciting visuals, but forgot to have fun with his film. Jason Mamoa was the only person who looked like he had a great time. Maybe Josh Brolin caught that bug for a day or two. But it was all very serious and brooding whereas other sci-fi films would lighten the mood a little, crack a smile, and let its characters seem more relatable and human.

It's evident right away that Part Two is going to correct that course by allowing the characters to have a good time when they need to. As the film picks up right where the first movie left off, it's quickly apparent that a bigger threat is on its way as Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet) ilearns the ways of the deep desert and the Fremen people. He survives by his mother, Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), and his new Fremen allies Chani (Zendaya) and Stilgar (Jarvier Bardem) after his father and people were betrayed and murdered by the Harkonnens. And it's here where Paul learns the ways of the Fremen and their fierce warriors in some stunning action sequences involving the giant sandworms and destroying large spice harvester ships.

But within these epic action beats, there is something much more sinister boiling behind closed doors. The elusive Emperor (Christopher Walken) and his decisions about how to deal with the planet Arrakis and the recent Atreides massacre. As with the second half of the novel, there are a lot of irons in the fire with Part Two, but Villeneuve executes each story beat with ease and precision. From the divide in the Fremen people over prophecies and religion to the domestic drama inside the Harkonnen household to Paul's mother having a new path in life, there is much to enjoy with Dune: Part Two. Most beneficial to this film are the heartfelt and somewhat humorous sequences of seeing some of these amazing characters letting their guard down and enjoying victories and being relatable humans. It's a sight for sore eyes from the last film, for sure.

Cinematographer Greig Fraser and director Villeneuve have even paid a great tribute to the late H.R. Geiger in this installment. As chronicled in the documentary Jodorowsky's Dune, H.R. Geiger (the man who designed the iconic xenomorph Alien creatures) had also designed a ton of sets and character costumes for that abandoned project. Here in Part Two, there are many instances where sets, vehicles, furniture, and costumes look like something right out of Geiger's scrapbook. It's frighteningly beautiful. Not to mention the magnificent battle sequences that are so epic in scale, but also perfectly framed that there's no doubt there should be an award in this film's future for at least just this aspect.

In that aspect, one of the big gripes about Part Two is that some of these big war sequences are too rushed and frenetic. Again, Lord of the Rings looks to have inspired Villeneuve and Fraser here, regarding battles and certain plot movements, but with those Peter Jackson films, they just worked better due to the amount of time given to each character and battle scene. In Dune, it feels rushed as if the clock is running out, which cracks the bond and excitement of these spectacular scenes. It's not a deal breaker, but it's noticeable during the big climactic fight that should have been several minutes longer to reinforce the brutality and the characters a bit more.

Chalamet is as perfect as Paul Atreides and who would have thought that Chalamet had the perfect angry voice that could carry over thousands of people? He owns it and commands the dialogue every time he speaks. Rebecca Ferguson dials it up a notch with Jessica's journey and Josh Brolin is a damn delight as weapons master Gurney Halleck. In fact, can the world get a two-hour movie of Brolin just smiling and having a good time, please? Earth and Arrakis need more of that charm. Austin Butler surprises as the nasty villain Feyd-Rautha with Bautista going full rage as Beast Rabban. Zendaya and Florence Pugh are underused assets. True to the novel, Pugh's Princess Irulan has only a couple of minutes of screen time, but it's Zendaya's performance as Chani that is frustratingly phoned in without much nuance. However, the big spotlight is on Javier Bardem turning in a meaty performance as warrior leader Stilgar that will surely garner award attention. He's a chameleon throughout his resume and he fits this role perfectly.

Video Review


Audio Review


Special Features


Final Thoughts

But just like Part One, this second installment ends with a cliffhanger and the promise of something much bigger. Imagine Gandalf the White coming back and narrating, "The battle for Helm's Deep is over. The war for Middle Earth has just begun." That's the sentiment here and the big hope that Villeneuve comes back and finishes it all off with a third film based on Frank Herbert's second novel Dune Messiah. Dune: Part Two is sci-fi living its best life. Sure, there are some slight issues, but the good far outweighs the bad. It's a large improvement over the first film. See it in IMAX or XD, it's a film that demands the largest screen possible. Highly Recommended! 

Dune: Part II opens only in theaters with early preview screenings beginning Thursday, February 29th