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Dune: Part Two – The Return to Arrakis is Beautiful and Tragic

So... when do we get the next episode?

Plot
7
Script
9
Directing
9
Acting
9
Visuals
10
Pros
Star-studded cast continues to impress
A visual spectacle in every way
Cons
When are we getting Part Three?
8.8

It’s funny how quickly we grow used to spectacle. The first Dune (2021) was full of wonders—the rolling sands that refused to stay still, Dune’s universe technology that includes impossible spaceships, ornithopters, shields, and Timothée Chalamet’s face.

And then, Dune: Part Two feels so instantly familiar, diving back into Arrakis through the melange-tinged eyes of Paul Atreides, now burdened with more names, responsibilities, and the growing messianic hope of a people desperate for a saviour.

Dune: Part Two is a closer, more intimate look at Paul Atreides and his relationships on Arrakis. With a particular sensitivity to spice—the drug that makes the desert planet so desirable for so many factions—that triggers his visions, the filmmaking follows suit.

Denis Villeneuve continues to show off his ability to wring out story and visual poetry from even the most mundane of shots.

The film is filled with claustrophobic close-ups, hallucinatory time jumps, and the endless, sweeping dunes of Arrakis, all trying to visually arrest and guide you through a tour of Paul Atreides’ increasingly taxed mind.

With so much focus on Paul’s struggle with his own free will and his seeded destiny, Chalamet continues to impress as Dune’s lead. For all of the Fremen’s obsession with their new messiah, Paul is a man—and Chalamet’s portrayal is equal parts heartbreaking and terrifying.

Newcomer Austin Butler also plays a fantastically fanatical Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, a more calculated foil to Glossu Rabban’s berserk rage.

The film’s visual style continues to be distinctive, adding to the litany of wonderful designs from its predecessor. Whether it’s huge machines or the personal armour of a ruthless Harkonnen raider, Dune: Part Two’s design team did not rest on their laurels for this film.

Though the movie has a rather long runtime (officially 2 hours 46 minutes, give or take some for credits), it never feels lengthy. Conversely, it felt more like I was watching an episode of a television show that wanted me to stay around for the next one.

For better or worse, it’s a film that’s not-so-subtly clamouring for a sequel. There are multiple books worth of content ready to harvest from, and I’m hopeful to see more. Dune: Part Two continues to add to its legacy, dazzling in myriad ways and staying faithful to the source material—but I somehow hope that at some point, there’s a way to cut off the story and leave Arrakis for good.

Dune: Part Two hits the big (and bigger) screens on 29th February.