Dune: Part Two Film Review

'Dune: Part Two' - Image from YouTube

Breathtaking. Absorbing. Beautiful. Masterful. Epic. Grand. Spectacular.

This is 'Dune: Part Two' as seen on the IMAX screen in Melbourne.

Denis Villeneuve, the masterful writer and director of some of the best sci-fi of all time delivered and then delivered again, in this follow-up to 'Dune' (the remake of the '80s classic). It’s easy to see why he’s been nominated for an incredible 156 awards and won 93. You might know Villeneuve from his work on 'Arrival' (2016), 'Blade Runner 2049' (2017) and the preceding 'Dune' (2021). He’s an absolute master of cinema storytelling. You can tell this is a Villeneuve tale from the first moments of the film as he draws the audience into the world with dark, ominous visuals that sway between light and shade from the interiors of the temples and palaces to the endless sand dunes of Arrakis.

Timothée Chalamet presented the hero’s journey perfectly in his portrayal of Paul Muad’Dib Atredies. Zendaya as Chani was brilliant, showing yet again why she is in such demand. The love story between the two was beautiful and believable with clear on-screen chemistry that just works. Outstanding performances from Rebecca Ferguson who played the ominous Lady Jessica, Javier Bardem as Stilgar delivered a balanced performance that drew laughs from the audience in an otherwise sombre piece. Austin Butler needs to play more bad guys based on his performance as Feyd-Rautha. He was frightening, and if you didn’t know it was him in the role you might find yourself heading to IMDb to check.

New additions to the story included Florence Pugh as Princess Irulan and Souheila Yacoub as Shishalki, both of whom were great. Bringing on the acting icon chops were Christopher Walken as The Emperor, plus Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck and Stellan Skarsgård as Baron Harkonnen were as you would expect – brilliant. This is a cast of A-listers which can sometimes fail to produce magic on screen, however, this was not the case here with each performance as gripping on screen as the next.

Villeneuve has done some really clever things in this film, including filming one entire part in black and white. This was, in my mind, really clever filmmaking with possible references to 'Gladiator' and even Hitler’s Germany. Hans Zimmer supplied the soundtrack with the music really forming almost a character in itself. At times, the music and sound effects were so loud they rumbled through the entire cinema, vibrating through my chair. Greig Fraser delivers incredible cinematography with special mention to the absolutely beautiful wide shots a must. The CGI was as good as it gets, producing some of the most exhilarating moments of the film. This, coupled with the large format screen, almost made you feel as though you were a part of the action.

If you’re heading along to see this, you must go to IMAX for the fully immersive experience that you can only get on the huge screen. I recommend seeing 'Dune: Part One' (2021) beforehand, so you are up on the story and not wondering what is going on. If you’re a fan of the books, expect some changes, (major and minor) which, in my opinion, did not distract from the storytelling.

Running at 2 hours and 46 minutes, one could have been forgiven if they felt it ran a touch long, but the wait for act three was worth it. I left the cinema emotional, wondering how he had managed to create a story that felt so relevant to what’s happening in our world right now. If only there was a Messiah to come and save the day. Fans need not worry however, with the third instalment of 'Dune Messiah' confirmed as the last in the trilogy.


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