HomeOpinionDune: Part Two Review (No Spoilers)

Dune: Part Two Review (No Spoilers)

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As a young child in the 1980s, I watched Dune. It made me laugh. When I came across the book later in high school, I nearly didn’t read it because of how awful the movie was. The book was great and the catalyst that ignited my love for fantasy literature. For that reason, I eagerly anticipated the 2021 release of a revised film adaptation.

I despised it the first time I saw it at the theater. In my opinion, they omitted crucial details about some of the book’s major lore. They mostly ignored the fact that spice is a drug and essential for space travel, which is why it is such a big deal. In light of all the political intrigue, I felt that the major house’s characteristics were under-explained. I felt like there wasn’t much of a payoff and that the pace was too sluggish. it was a 4 out of 10 from me.

Therefore, I made up my mind to watch Part Two when it became available for free streaming, whenever that may be. But then figured I might as well go see Part Two after two of my friends suggested it. In order to refresh my memory on all the plot points, I rewatched Part One the night prior. When I initially saw Part One, I don’t know what was wrong with me. Part One was even better the second time around, so either I was having a terrible day, was inebriated, or simply wasn’t paying attention. I thought it was the best science fiction film I’ve seen in the last fifteen to twenty years, and I loved it.

Eliminating superfluous details would have improved the pacing. In contrast to the poorly written films Hollywood has been producing as of late, I greatly enjoyed the film’s world building and character development. Also, there’s no denying that the CGI was top-notch. The use of computer-generated imagery was understated and effective, in contrast to the overdone effects seen in the majority of modern films.

Part Two had me giddy with anticipation. It was the most well-written, well-acted, beautiful and immersive film I’ve seen in the last twenty years. It was excellent.

Wow, what an epic film.

The story, characters and worlds are great. The CGI is spot on without being overbearing. The weapons appear terrifying because of it. It improves the plot points without drawing the viewer’s focus away from the story and the reasons behind them. The visuals alone would make the film worthwhile to sit through, sound turned off.

True character arcs do exist. Paul Atreides, played by Timothee Chalamet, goes from a young man who has no interest in leadership roles to a terrifying god-like figure who is willing to kill anyone for vengeance. Lady Jessica, played by Rebecca Ferguson, rises from the ranks of the unsung to become a powerful religious figure who uses her position to help her son’s popularity to seize power. It is fantastic and not exaggerated that Feyd-Rautha (Austin Bulter) is a sociopath. I highly recommend Austin Butler’s performance in Masters of the Air, which you can watch on Apple TV. The best part is that I started caring about the characters in this movie quite early on. Unlike the previous Star Wars trilogy, where I wanted every new character to die because they were so boring or unlikable.

On top of that, the villains are terrifying. They are not cartoon bad guys like those in Hollywood blockbusters. The heroes aren’t perfect, but they’re terrifying and will kill to achieve their goals.

You won’t see much “girl power” in this film, at all. The female characters who are capable of kicking ass are logical and make sense. Everyone in the film, from the protagonist to the supporting cast, is an authentic human being. You get a real grasp on the protagonist’s fighting style and motivations in Dune. Till he achieves a level of acceptance, you witness him being taught the ways of a warrior and then of the planet. I love it.

The settings look epic. Like Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings, it’s fantastic. They appear unique. You feel and know what planet you are on by the visuals alone. The people who live in them have distinct appearances and emotions. The film makes no effort to adhere to the shit DEI stuff or advance “The Message” by populating each world with a diverse group of people. When a population is diverse, it makes sense. The diversity would be what you expect for the specific world and lore surrounding it.

A couple of very small issues don’t detract from the otherwise flawless film. Just Christopher Walken being Christopher Walken as The Emperor is ineffective. It would have been nice if Flornce Pugh had a bigger part to play as Princess Irulan. Perhaps in the third part she will. They could have made better use of Lea Seydoux’s brief screen time as Margot Fenring.

That being said, the film is nearly flawless. In comparison to Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, it is arguably the finest film and sequel combination ever. If I had seen the two Dunes as a child, devoid of the nostalgia, I might even put it higher than Star Wars, but for now it’s right behind.

My original review was 4 out of 10 stars, but after watching Part One again, I gave it an 8.5. In terms of the second part, I would rate it as a 9. They got a perfect score when you combined the two films into one epic. Part Three is going to be so exciting.

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