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Dune: Part Two Review


After the events of Dune: Part One, House Atreides has been wiped out and the Harkonnens have taken over Arrakis thanks to the treachery of the Emperor. Paul Atreides and his pregnant mother, Jessica, have taken refuge with the Fremen in the desert.

While some, like Stilgar, believe that Paul is a Messiah foretold in prophecy, others distrust him as an outsider. Regardless, Paul is intent on learning the ways of the Fremen and possibly using them to retake Arrakis from the Harkonnens. To that end, his mother becomes the spiritual leader of the Fremen and uses her powers and psychological manipulation to direct them to support her son as their savior.

Dune: Part Two Review

But amid Paul’s quest for revenge, he falls in love with Chani. Unbelieving in any prophecy, Chani finds herself also falling in love with Paul as she teaches him to survive in the desert.

However, she’ll have to eventually decide whether to protect him from the religious zealots who want to follow him into war or sacrifice him for the sake of her people.

Dune: Part Two Review


I continue to be amazed at what a great adaptation Denis Villeneuve has made from the novel Dune. Like The Lord of the Rings, the original material can be a bit heavy in detail and difficult to follow, yet like Peter Jackson, Denis Villeneuve has made a movie that is faithful to the original material while being something far more accessible to general audiences. The result is a film series that makes the moviegoer eager to explore the other books further.

With the first film, I was astounded by the production design. That level of excellence has been maintained in the sequel. The costumes all feel like something out of Star Wars. The planets and architecture feel like they come from our distant future.

Dune: Part Two Review

The creatures and ships all put fresh spins on things we’ve seen before in other adaptations of Dune. The audience is truly transported to another time and place. All the artists that worked on this film really brought their A-game.

One of the criticisms of Dune: Part One was the long stretch between action scenes in the film. That doesn’t feel like the case here, as it’s a bit faster-paced and more action-heavy than its predecessor. I was particularly impressed by the choreography of the action.

One scene that stood out to me was when Paul and Chani attack a spice harvester and attempt to take out an orinthcopter circling from above with guns blazing. Every step of the scene is flawlessly executed. Another memorable scene features Paul taking his first ride on a sandworm. It’s a thrilling and intense moment.

The cast of Dune: Part Two continues to be excellent. I was not a fan of Timothée Chalamet before the Dune films, but I’ve since come around as he has portrayed Paul Atreides. He manages to play the kid eager for action as well as the Messiah with the weight of the world on his shoulders.

He’s well paired with Zendaya as Chani. The two have good chemistry together, and her journey from distrusting him to falling in love with him is believable. Rebecca Ferguson continues to be intriguing as Jessica. In an interesting twist, she has ongoing conversations with her unborn daughter. It’s a strange yet fascinating dynamic not really seen before.

But Javier Bardem really stands out as Stilgar. He provides much of the heart and almost all of the comic relief as the religious zealot and leader of the Northern Fremen. His attempts to guide Paul make him a comedic Obi-Wan, and he becomes an audience favorite.

Also excellent are Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck, who is out for revenge, Dave Bautista as the raging maniac Beast Rabban, and Stellan Skarsgård as the revolting Baron Harkonnen. Of the new cast, Austin Butler leaves an impression as Feyd-Rautha. He’s kind of the antithesis of Paul and a homicidal maniac like the rest of the Harkonnens. His fight scenes are memorable, and he’d give Sting in a Speedo a run for his money.

Florence Pugh is also good as Princess Irulan, the daughter of the Emperor. While it looks like she’ll have more to do in later films, she has a strong presence here as she plays the mediator between her father and Reverend Mother Mohiam. Christopher Walken is also fun to see as the Emperor, though he gets little screen time.


I have little to criticize about Dune: Part Two, and what I’ll mention here are admittedly nitpicks. I wasn’t a fan of Hans Zimmer’s score. It felt more like mood-setting noise than melody. It would have been cool to have a memorable Dune theme, but that’s not the case.

The film is a tad long as well. It runs for two hours and 46 minutes. It could have easily been whittled down to two hours and lost little narrative. But hey, if people can binge-watch entire TV series in one sitting, this is nothing.

And while Dune: Part Two doesn’t end on as big a cliffhanger as Dune: Part One, it still ends on a cliffhanger. It’s clear there is more story to tell, and that may dissatisfy some viewers.

My only other nitpick is that I knew every bit of how this story was going to unfold. I read the novel, I saw the 1984 version by David Lynch, and I saw the Sci-Fi Channel series in 2000. There were no surprises here. Now I’m left to debate whether to spoil the next chapter by reading Dune Messiah or letting a potential sequel surprise me.


Simply put, if you liked Dune: Part One, then you’ll like Dune: Part Two. It’s more of the same, just with a bit more action. And that’s a good thing.


Warner Bros. Pictures will release Dune: Part Two in theaters on March 1, 2024. The film is rated PG-13 for sequences of strong violence, some suggestive material, and brief strong language.