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Dune 2 review: a sandstorm under control

© Warner Bros.

We can say that the second part of Dune has been a long time coming. Initially scheduled for release in theaters last year, the sequel to the adventures of Paul Atréides has been postponed several times, notably because of the writers' and actors' strike. After more than two years of getting impatient, that's it, the wait ends this Wednesday, February 28, 2024. And it was worth it.

Dune: Part Twois a monument. Grandiose, this new opus should not leave fans indifferent. Denis Villeneuve takes the recipe from the first film and adds a quantity of spices (it was easy) to offer us a second part that is even more impactful and even more spectacular. The serious things have begun and we are already asking for more.

The director suggested to us that Dune 2 would be even better than the first film. Some doubted it. Others saw their faith in Denis Villeneuve as unshakeable. Still, Dune: Part Two is here tomorrow. Here's what we thought about it in this review.

Under the sunlight of Arrakis

The first part of Dune was a real success. It's undeniable. Indeed, in France, Duneposted the fifth best start of 2021 while globally it generated $400 million at the box office. While the health situation was still weighing on cinemas, it was a real achievement. But the spectators remained hungry when the lights came back on in the room. If Dune was captivating and splendid, the film took its time. Too much, perhaps. We needed at least that to familiarize ourselves with the rich and complex universe imagined by Frank Herbert in 1965. But we had barely started to have fun when the credits showed up…

Mais Dune: Part Twoabandoned the cruising pace of the first part to go directly to the heart of the action. Denis Villeneuve has no time to waste: the film is already almost three hours long. So we quickly got back into the swing of things, to our greatest pleasure. Now that all the pawns have been nicely arranged on the giant chessboard, the director can afford a more frantic pace.

If the film is long, we don't really have the opportunity to get bored watching Dune: Part Two. Rightly so! We are bombarded with information, each more important than the last. After crossing paths with the Fremen and earning their respect, Paul Atreides and his mother, Lady Jessica, are welcomed by the nomadic indigenous people of Arrakis. But the betrayal they suffered still hangs over their heads and destiny seems to have big plans for the heir to the throne.

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Designated as the Messiah by certain followers of an ancient prophecy, Paul Atreides has difficulty accepting and conceiving this role of savior. Divided between believers and agnostics, blinded by his love for Chani, troubled by his increasingly disturbing visions and stunned by his so-called duty, the young man searches for himself.

Dune: Part Twois an opportunity to delve into the daily life of the Fremen and, like Paul, to discover their customs. But not only that! The political stakes are considerable and the intrigues and subplots unfold with disconcerting ease and naturalness. Thus, they hold our attention until the last moments of the film.

Dune is not afraid to tackle a multitude of themes. We talk about ecology and the protection of resources, but also about fanaticism, religious excesses and totalitarianism. There are many antagonists in this new opus. However, Dune: Part Two reminds us that the most dangerous are not necessarily those we imagine.

An achievement not bitten by (sand)worms

In addition to a captivating storyline, Dune: Part Twoenjoys a perfectly mastered production. Could we expect less from Denis Villeneuve ? The filmmaker therefore signs a new nugget, which is far from being yet another grain of sand. If visually, the first opus was stunning, Dune 2 is even more so. Denis Villeneuve knows very well how to bewitch us. You could almost feel the overwhelming heat of the strange sun that watches over Arrakis.

Also read – 5 cult Denis Villeneuve films to see urgently

Each shot of Dune: Part Twois more beautiful than the previous one, making the spark in our eyes quiver. The second opus thus offers us scenes of incredible power. Less contemplative than the first part released in 2021, Dune 2 manages to keep a crucial meditative dimension despite a more frenetic pace. This time, the contemplative is counterbalanced by more intense moments, with explosions and furious fights.

Dune 2 review: a sandstorm under control

© Warner Bros.

In the staging of Dune: Part Two, it is obvious that Denis Villeneuve had fun giving free rein to his creativity. With such a rich universe, it's the least we can do… The filmmaker makes us dizzy by going from the fetus to space. And what about the visual effects ? The wait was worth it, because the result is impeccable. That's for sure: Dune 2 drives the point home to make this cinematic saga a must-see in the science fiction genre and commands respect.

To not spoil our pleasure, we can of course count on Hans Zimmer who delivers, once again, a sensational musical participation. The soundtrack of Dune: Second Part grabs us in the guts and enhances the feature film. The film doesn't really need it, but Hans Zimmer's work allows Dune 2 to gain intensity.

Casting my(s)thique

To carry Dune: Part Two, talented actors are needed. Timothée Chalamet gets back into the shoes of Paul Atréides to give us an excellent performance. The actor succeeds in translating the doubts of his complex character, crushed by the weight of his destiny and his nightmarish visions.

Also read – 6 cult films with Timothée Chalamet to see urgently

Dune 2 review: a sandstorm under control

© Warner Bros.

Zendaya, in the role of Chani, gives him the answer and we can only be delighted to see him have a more important place in the scenario. A non-believer and yet inexorably in love with this (false ?) Messiah, Chani has a key role alongside Paul Atréides. An oasis in a desert… Thus, the actress bursts onto the screen. No more no less. Through dialogues but also through simple looks, Zendaya proves to us that she has not stolen her place on the big screen.

This second part of Dune can also count on Rebecca Ferguson (Silo ) to subjugate us. The actress is both wonderful and disturbing in the role of Dame Jessica. With an iron temperament, the mother of the “prodigy son” will stop at nothing to see the prophecy come true.

Dune 2 review: a sandstorm under control

© Warner Bros.

We could go on for a long time, because no actors from Dune: Second Part has no merit. Austin Butler (Elvis) is particularly chilling as Feyd-Rautha, sociopathic nephew of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen.

Dune 2: the sci-fi film we've been waiting for

Denis Villeneuve therefore did not lie: Dune: Second Part is even better than the first film. Without completely giving up on the contemplative, the rhythm of this new opus intensifies to offer us almost three radically captivating hours. It's beautiful, it's powerful, it's gripping… Where the first part could suffer from a cruising speed (which is, nevertheless, normal given the richness and complexity of the imagined universe by Frank Herbert), Dune: Part Twofinds a balance between contemplation and action. The feature film rises to the level little by little and gains in intensity to end in apotheosis. Quite simply. And we are breathless, glued to our seats.

So, no need to pull the (sand)worms out of our noses: Dune: Part Two is the grandiose and epic film that we were promised. There is no doubt about the impact of this second film on science fiction in cinemas. We are already thirsty to discover Dune third of the name…

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116