Exeter, Devon UK • Apr 18, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home Screen More Dunes, More Sand, More Political Intrigue. A Review of Dune: Part Two

More Dunes, More Sand, More Political Intrigue. A Review of Dune: Part Two

Maddy Conlan Reviews 'Dune: Part Two' marking it as an entertaining and visually arresting watch.
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Dune: Part Two | Official Trailer

Director Dennis Villeneuve made a splash in the realm of Science Fiction films when he released Dune: Part One in October 2021. Despite the massive hype surrounding this film, and the star-studded cast, the reviews were mixed. As a fan of Frank Herbert’s 1965 book Dune, I came out of the first instalment of this franchise deeply bored, and deeply unimpressed. I felt like I had watched three hours of uninteresting world-building and exposition. Therefore, I had incredibly low expectations going into Dune: Part Two. 

Thankfully, after viewing the new instalment on opening weekend I was completely blown away by how entertaining, engaging, and exciting the newest film was. From the visuals to the increased shots of the Sand Worms to the expansion of the world of Arrakis and the empire it sits within, I was pleasantly surprised and engaged with everything that the second Dune film had to offer. 

 As someone who missed the Timothee Chalamet phase, I was less than impressed by his stoic, one-note, acting from the first film where his character, heir to the Dukedom of the Atreides bloodline, was the epitome of a Gary-Stu. A man with few ambitions and even fewer personality traits. Yet, Chalamet has upped both his charisma and his likeability, in his portrayal of Paul Atreides, in this sequel and it mesmerised me. 

/I think Chalamet portrayed the complex decisions that Paul faces between his loyalty to Chani (Zendaya) and the destiny the Bene Gesserit has made for him incredibly well.

I think Chalamet portrayed the complex decisions that Paul faces between his loyalty to Chani (Zendaya) and the destiny the Bene Gesserit has made for him incredibly well.

I, like the Fremen community Paul was living amongst, was enamoured by Paul’s skill as a fighter and his internal push and pull against his destiny. I think Chalamet portrayed the complex decisions that Paul faces between his loyalty to Chani (Zendaya) and the destiny the Bene Gesserit has made for him incredibly well. He nailed the complex relationship between Paul wanting to be a Hero to the people who worship him, and the difficult choices he must make to get them to a place of freedom. The pull between Hero and Anti-Hero in Paul’s destiny becomes clearer within this film. 

I was also pleasantly surprised by Chani’s character in the second instalment. After the first film, I was left believing her character would fill the ‘manic pixie dream girl’ trope, that she was there to make Paul feel ‘good’ and settled in his new community. Instead, her character within this sequel was deeply complex and enjoyable to watch. Without heavily spoiling the film, as I do believe it is worth experiencing in the cinema on the big screen, Chani is a very strong female character who can see everything that Paul could be and wants to be and holds him accountable for his actions. It makes for an interesting dynamic between the two protagonists. 

The film also included great performances by Austin Butler, who played the terrifying Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen. As the new head of spice collection on Arrakis, he made for a great villain against the freedom and lifestyle of the Freman people. I was also intrigued by Florence Pugh’s performance and though her screen time was limited, I am excited to see where her character, Princess Irulan, goes in future instalments of the franchise. 

I was also intrigued by Florence Pugh’s performance and though her screen time was limited, I am excited to see where her character, Princess Irulan, goes in future instalments of the franchise. 

One of my favourite aspects of the film was the intergalactic politics and learning about the cultures of the Fremen. Villeneuve really expands the universe of Dune and brings Herbert’s vision to life in this film. I adored learning about how the Fremen live and how they avoid and ride the sandworms that inhabit Arrakis. One of the best aspects of the film was the stunning visuals. The sweeping shots of Arrakis, as well as the tense battle sequences, and close-ups of the terrifying sandworms, created epic visuals that wowed audiences. I think this sequel leaned into the Sci-Fi aspects of the source texts more than its predecessor and that made for an entertaining and visually arresting watch. 

Alongside the incredible and scary visuals of the Sandworms, which I adored, was the stunning score by Hans Zimmer. As one of Zimmer’s top Spotify listeners, I went into the film expecting to love the soundtrack, but I was completely blown away. I loved the soundtrack so much that it may even beat the masterpiece that was Zimmer’s Interstellar score. I think the soundtrack helped in the epic visuals of the film and personally, my favourite piece of music for the film was the ending song ‘Only I Will Remain.’ It will now have a permanent spot on my study playlist. After being disappointed by the first film the sheer spectacle and intrigue of Dune: Part Two kept me hooked from start to finish. Despite the nearly three-hour run time, I very rarely felt the length as there was always so much going on to keep the audience engaged. With the cliffhanger ending that Villeneuve has left us on I am desperately hoping that an adaptation of the second book Dune: Messiah gets greenlit for the big screen. 

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