DUNE: PART TWO Review | A Sci-Fi Master Class

After watching Dune: Part Two, it’s clear that writer/director Denis Villeneuve is a master of science fiction filmmaking. From Arrival to Blade Runner 2049, and now the Dune franchise, Villeneuve continues to prove that he is nearly unmatched in the sci-fi genre. While Dune: Part Two isn’t perfect, it is easily one of the best science fiction films of the last decade.

If you haven’t seen Dune: Part One, you can still watch Part Two without losing the main gist of the story. You will miss out on some of the more intricate details, and character motivations, but you’ll understand what’s going on well enough. That alone speaks volumes about Part Two.

For those who have seen Dune: Part One, this is more of the same, but with an increased level of action, and superior pacing. Despite Part One being a very solid film in almost every way, one of the main aspects that held it back was the overabundance of exposition. It was necessary, given the epic nature of the story being told. The split film was also a big reason why the pacing wasn’t as strong, but it doesn’t change the fact that pacing was an issue that is corrected in Part Two.

Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Javier Bardem, and Austin Butler are exceptional in their respective roles. Butler is the standout, but the entire ensemble cast goes above and beyond to deliver stellar performances. Zendaya doesn’t get as much to work with, making her performance a little less impressive, but she does well with what she’s given, especially toward the end of the film.

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The VFX in Part Two are some of the best we’ve seen since before the pandemic. The score is overpowering but almost feels necessary given the scale of what’s unfolding on screen. It’s Hans Zimmer, and quite reminiscent of his Inception score, right down to the loud “bongs” that are well-timed, yet feel almost random. Dune: Part Two is a film that offers a rare must-see experience in the largest, loudest, auditorium you can find.

There’s only one minor issue with Dune: Part Two, and that is simply the length. Clocking in at just under three hours, you feel that runtime. It doesn’t help that this is still not a complete film. It picks up where Part One left off, and it’s even possible to experience this as a standalone film if you absolutely had to, but there’s a lot more story to tell after the closing credits begin to roll.

A third film has yet to be greenlit, but Villeneuve is already working on the script, which he claims will be the conclusion of the trilogy. This has become a popular trend in Hollywood. While Dune is a story that actually deserves this kind of treatment, it doesn’t change the fact that after two films, and nearly six hours of runtime, the story still isn’t over… not even close.

Everything about Dune: Part Two is virtually perfect, except the fact that this isn’t a complete story. You’ll feel the nearly three-hour length of the film, but like the old epics of the 1980s, Dune: Part Two needs all that runtime. Perhaps this should’ve been a TV series, but then you might not get the production values needed to really make Dune work. So while some people will inevitably be turned off by the runtime, and the fact that this isn’t a complete story, others will revel in the fact that Dune is finally being done justice on the big screen.

About Dune: Part Two

Synopsis: Paul Atreides unites with Chani and the Fremen while seeking revenge against the conspirators who destroyed his family.

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Writers: Denis Villeneuve, Jon Spaihts

Stars: Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Javier Bardem, Rebecca Ferguson, Austin Butler, Josh Brolin, Florence Pugh, Léa Seydoux, Dave Bautista, Stellan Skarsgård, Christopher Walken

Rated: PG-13

Runtime: 2 Hours, 46 Minutes

Releases: March 1, 2024 (USA)

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Bryan Dawson has been writing professionally since the age of 13. He started his career as a video game writer and has since worked for Random House, Prima Games, DirecTV, IGN, AOL, the British Government, and various other organizations. For GNN, Bryan taps into his passion for movies.

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