Dune Part Two Review: An Epic Sci-Fi That Lives Up To The Hype

Dune Part Two Denis Villeneuve Timothée Chalamet Josh Brolin Zendaya Movie Review 2024 (2222

The saga continues as award-winning filmmaker Denis Villeneuve embarks on “Dune: Part Two,” the next chapter of Frank Herbert’s celebrated novel Dune, with an expanded all-star international ensemble cast. The film, from Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures, is the highly anticipated follow-up to 2021’s six-time Academy Award-winning “Dune.”

“Dune: Part Two” will explore the mythic journey of Paul Atreides as he unites with Chani and the Fremen while on a path of revenge against the conspirators who destroyed his family. Facing a choice between the love of his life and the fate of the known universe, he endeavors to prevent a terrible future only he can foresee.

Dune Part Two Trailer:

Dune Part Two Video Review:

The Good:

From the opening desert conflict, Villeneuve crafts a visually stunning world with breathtaking cinematography and subtle camera work. The use of natural light and contrasting color palettes depending on the planet creates a truly immersive experience. The first-person perspective during the creature-riding scene is exhilarating, and the stark monochrome gladiator scene on Giedi Prime perfectly captures the antagonist’s tone. Villeneuve’s creative use of slow motion builds tension and anticipation, particularly during Paul Atreides’ address to the crowd.

What amazed me was the cinematography used during the desert scene battles. There are a couple of moments in the film where characters get to ride a certain creature, and that is nothing short of exhilarating. Thanks to the first-person camera views, it genuinely felt like an immersive experience as an audience. Villeneuve’s seamless transitions between color palettes depending on the planet were a stroke of genius. My favorite moment was probably visiting Giedi Prime. The gladiator-like scene changed into a monochrome setting that perfectly aligned with the mood and vibe of the antagonists of the film. It perfectly supplemented the dire tone of the moment and it was an excellent choice to enhance the scene.

Dune Part Two

One other subtle, yet vital, technical element by Villeneuve was using slow motion perfectly. He managed to effectively use slow motion to build tension and also anticipation for several scenes. An example of this would be when Paul Atreides has to address a large crowd, and the camera gradually slows down. The benefit here is that the audience is given enough time to really soak in the moment and the vastness of the crowd.

A Symphony of Sound:

Dune Part Two does not only benefit from great visuals, but the auditory elements were at an all-time high as well. The sound mixing was impeccable. Often times I found myself looking around the theater because the sounds made me feel like I was in a real arena. Plus, the soundtrack only amplified each and every scene in a perfectly harmonious way with the given situation of the scene.

Engaging Performances:

When it comes to the performances, the stellar cast of Dune Part Two all came through. Timothée Chalamet was as stoic as Paul Atreides and was convincing enough as a reluctant leader. Zendaya’s delivery came through the strongest in her non-verbal scenes. Her best moment was towards the end of the film when a simple glance and look on her face said more than any dialogue could capture. Dave Baustia continued to demonstrate his impressive growth as an actor. I was a bit dismayed that we didn’t get to see more of him. However, the real scene stealer was probably Austin Butler. His transformation into the menacing, antagonistic character was nothing short but mesmerizing. The moment he was introduced into the movie, he practically threatened to be the most interesting character among an already stacked cast.

Dune Part Two

The overall action sequences in Dune Part Two were a welcomed treat. The battles were just so fun to watch and they each felt unique. I loved the desert battles the most mainly because of the demonstrated variety of battle techniques from the respective groups. Often times I found myself surprised by how they would find new ways to combat their enemies.

Lastly, I really appreciated how Dune Part Two managed to be far more accessible with its dialogue. Given how thick and rich the story can be, this sequel managed to repeat certain plot points and emphasize motivations from characters that otherwise could have been lost to audiences. I liked the fact that characters reminded the audience what the major goal was for a group of people, or why other characters behaved in a certain way. Yes, it’s a bit of handholding, but with all the many things going on in this film, it was needed.

The Bad:

It’s hard to say that this was a negative thing, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel the length of this film. The pacing certainly could be felt at times when the dialogue was either non-existent or there wasn’t much action happening. Although the film’s runtime was under 3 hours, it certainly felt like it was over 3 hours.

Dune Part Two

While some dialogue effectively clarified plot points, others remained confusing and deserved better execution. For instance, a third-act twist held the potential for a shocking reveal, but its impact fell flat due to a lack of proper foreshadowing throughout the film. This lack of build-up diminished the emotional impact of the “big reveal” itself.

Disappointing Climaxes:

This leads to another issue with Dune Part Two and that is how it was a disappointment when it came to major personal conflicts. There were moments where two characters would have a lot of highly anticipated confrontations finally happen, but they would end in the most anticlimactic way. I even heard muffled moans in my audience when a major fight ended in a not-so-exciting way. I think the disappointment came in two ways. First, one of the fights ends in a way where the camera angle doesn’t show what even happens, so the outcome feels contrived and less satisfactory. Second, another fight ends so quickly that you barely have time to really soak it all in as a viewer. It just left me with an odd feeling that the film could masterfully craft amazing scenes throughout the film, and then in these key moments, manage to drop the ball.

The Verdict:

Dune: Part Two is a must-watch epic sci-fi, visually stunning, adventure that could already be considered the best movie of the year. It’s a sci-fi fan’s dream come true that without question must be experienced on the biggest screen possible. I saw the film in IMAX and I’m convinced any other way would not be to the viewer’s advantage. Compared to the previous Dune: Part One, this film raised the bar in many areas and feels far more entertaining and accessible for more audiences. Dune: Part Two has immediately entered the awards conversations in my mind for cinematography, Best Picture, and Best Director.

Dune Part Two

Jumping straight into Dune: Part Two is like diving into the deep end without knowing how to swim. The sequel does try to explain some ambiguous things in Part One. However,  Part Two primarily builds upon the foundation laid in the first film. Remember all those names, planets, and motivations you struggled to grasp in the first film? Part Two assumes you have that knowledge. Don’t worry if you can’t recall every detail, but be prepared to piece things together as you go.

My recommendation for newcomers is clear: start with Dune Part One. It will provide the necessary context and understanding to fully appreciate the epic journey of Part Two. Once you’ve experienced both films, I highly recommend seeing Part Two in theaters, preferably IMAX. It’s an immersive visual experience that shouldn’t be missed.

Dune Part Two Denis Villeneuve Timothée Chalamet Josh Brolin Zendaya Movie Review 2024 (2)

Director:Denis Villeneuve
Writer(s): Denis Villeneuve, Jon Spaihts
Stars: Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya as Chani, Rebecca Ferguson, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Florence Pugh, Léa Seydoux,  Stephen McKinley Henderson, Christopher Walken
Dune: Part Two comes to theaters on March 1, 2024. Be sure to follow E-Man’s Movie Reviews on Facebook, Subscribe on YouTube, or follow me on Twitter/IG @EmansReviews for even more movie news and reviews!

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Dune Part Two Review: An Epic Sci-Fi That Lives Up To The Hype
  • Acting - 9/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 10/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 7/10
  • Setting/Theme - 10/10
  • Watchability - 10/10
  • Rewatchability - 8/10
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About Emmanuel "E-Man" Noisette

Emmanuel is a Rotten Tomatoes Approved, Chicago film critic who founded Eman's Movie Reviews. He's contributed to other outlets such as ScreenRant andThe Wrap, and has been featured on television such as MSNBC. Be sure to join the other fans on his Facebook Fan Page for even more movie opinions and fun. Feel free to contact him with any professional inquiries: [email protected]