Movie Review

Movie Review: ‘Dune – Part Two’ Hollywood blockbuster

Few Hollywood blockbusters have come close to matching Dune: Part One’s epic scope, technical bravura or seriousness of purpose.

Part Two picks up where the first instalment left off, literally and figuratively, delivering another stunning set of gorgeous visuals and exceptional action sequences.

Following Timothee Chalamet’s fledgling leader Paul Atreides as he prepares to battle the evil Harkonnen who wiped out his people in the first chapter, this sequel may not quite reach its predecessor’s heights, but this remains a franchise that is galaxies removed from standard studio fare in its ambition and confidence.

Warner Bros. unveils Part Two on March 1 in the UK and US, hoping to eclipse Dune’s $404 million worldwide gross – a seemingly achievable goal considering the 2021 picture came out when Covid was still severely impacting theatres.

Initially scheduled for a fall 2023 release before the writers and actors strikes precipitated a need to move the film to the spring, this star-studded sequel will benefit from rave reviews, not to mention a marketplace without many must-see pictures.

Part Two’s suitability for IMAX screens will only further boost commercial prospects.

Teaming up with Arrakis’ desert-dwelling people the Fremen, the enigmatic warrior Chani (Zendaya), Paul Atreides (Chalamet) and his mother Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) vow vengeance against Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgard), the monstrous head of House Harkonnen responsible for the death of Paul’s beloved father, Duke Leto Atreides (Oscar Isaac, seen in the previous instalment).

Vladimir recruits his vicious nephew Feyd-Rautha (Austin Butler) to kill Paul and ensure that Arrakis’ invaluable spice reserves are secured.

Part Two matches the high bar set by the original film, which won six Oscars and five Bafta awards in technical categories.

Greig Fraser’s cinematography and Patrice Vermette’s production design conspire to create an otherworldly environment populated by vast deserts, spartan coliseums, inventive spaceships and spectacular sunsets.

But, remarkably, the meticulous care that Villeneuve brings to every visual detail never leads to cluttered frames — rather, this sequel is just as strikingly spare, with the battle scenes always clearly presented and the hand-to-hand fight sequences intimate and intense.

So much of modern filmmaking obsesses over world-building, but Villeneuve and his team’s imagination clobbers that of their competitors.

Production company: Legendary Pictures

Worldwide distribution: Warner Bros. Pictures

Producers: Mary Parent, Cale Boyter, Denis Villeneuve, Tanya Lapointe, Patrick McCormick

Screenplay: Denis Villeneuve and Jon Spaihts, based on the novel Dune by Frank Herbert

Cinematography: Greig Fraser

Production design: Patrice Vermette

Editing: Joe Walker

Music: Hans Zimmer

Main cast: Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Dave Bautista, Christopher Walken, Lea Seydoux, Stellan Skarsgard, Charlotte Rampling, Javier Bardem


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