Dune: Part Two Review


Dune: Part Two Movie Poster

A young but driven leader sets out to avenge the death of his father in Dune: Part Two.

Fremen prophecy speaks of a mother and son joining with the clans to bring about prosperity for Arrakis. It’s this belief that keeps young Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) and his mother, Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), out of harm’s way — at least for the time being. Not all Fremen are sold on this duo being the predicted pair. Atreides himself isn’t so sure, but stays focused on his larger goal to hunt down Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgård), whom he blames for his father’s untimely demise.

It’s from here that the film continues the epic story that began with writer/director Denis Villeneuve‘s 2021 blockbuster Dune. Delayed from its original release date by two major industry strikes, the sequel stubbornly embarks on its own route across the desert, quickly getting mired in the sand with little to guide it back toward the path that audiences so willingly walked the first time.

This installment seems intent on convincing you that explosions are the same thing as plot. They’re everywhere. A glance toward your popcorn threatens to leave you one or two behind. Of course, they look spectacular, as does the rest of the film, but there’s only so far that they can carry a story. I often felt like I was watching another second-rate Marvel movie. On the “plus” side, there’s little chance of nodding off due to an obnoxiously loud Hans Zimmer score that could shake the sand out of the Sahara.

One of the biggest disappointments is the budding relationship between Paul and his dreamy Fremen companion Chani (Zendaya). Their teased chemistry in the first film evaporates faster than any dew left on a desert dune. All of their interactions feel forced, awkward and fleeting. Chani’s character also suffers a severe lack of narrative. She’s reduced to silent glares and subdued nuance for 90% of her screen time.

It also doesn’t help that Christopher Walken shows up acting as if he’s doing a bad impression of himself. It ranks as one the most embarrassing miscues since Sir Laurence Olivier played Zeus in Clash of the Titans.

As far as the story, when you’re not watching explosions, Villeneuve clearly wants you to fully and permanently understand that, if you stick a thumping device in the sand, it will summon a sandworm. It’s the only explanation that I can offer as to why you’re subjected to such a shot seemingly with every new day. Apparently, you’re also supposed to come away from this film thinking that sandworms are the Arrakis equivalent of an Uber ride. As for me, I’m going to walk… away from this pretty but paltry disappointment in the desert.

Dune: Part Two Movie Shot
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