Dune Part Two – REVIEW

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Dune Part Two - the saga draws to a close in epic style

With the first film banishing memories David Lynch’s disastrous 1984 version, anticipation for Dune Part Two is high and rightly so. Writer–director Denis Villeneuve takes the epic saga and brings it to a close in as spectacular fashion as might be expected. It has been two years since the first Oscar nominated film and the release of Part Two was postponed due to the SAG strike. But the story picks up almost immediately from the end of Part One with Paul (Timothee Chalamet) and his mother Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) having escaped after the massacre of the House of Atreides and are hiding out on Arrakis along with Paul’s love interest Chani (Zendaya) and the Fremen people.

It is there that Jessica becomes a powerful figure in her own right having been taken under the wing of a powerful sisterhood after imbibing a nauseous glowing liquid akin to a bottle of Prime that enables her to guide Paul on his ascent from naïve young man to a inspirational leader. It’s Stigar (Javier Bardem) who is sincere in his conviction that Paul is the Messiah, the chosen one, in an unintentional reminder of Monty Python’s Life of Brian that you expect someone to pipe up with, ‘No he’s not, he’s a very naughty boy!’ In contrast to the solemnity of the first film there is a surprising amount of humour in this follow up film but none of it takes away from the drama and spectacle.

Paul and the Fremen people are being hunted down by Rabban Harkomen (Dave Bautista) and it leads to some truly awesome battles in the first hour. But his failure at doing this sees the psychopathic Feyd-Rautha (Austin Butler), the nephew of the odious overlord Baron Harkonnen (Stellan Skargard). Shaven headed, milky white skinned  and psychotic he looks like a Brit abroad in Marbella and its him who leads an army against the Fremen and Paul in what will be a defining battle for both parties. Overseeing this all is the Emperor (Christopher Walken) and his daughter Irulan (Florence Pugh) and their purpose is really to act as sort of narrator for the audience keeping us abreast of the political machinations.

The plotting here is perhaps more complex than the first film and balances out the extraordinary visuals both in production design, effects, make up and photography. That said this second film does feel a little slower than the first but there’s no doubting the scale and ambition in the achievement by Villeneuve whose handling of sci-fi has always been masterful – just look at his ‘Blade Runner 2049’ and also the underrated ‘Arrival’ too – handling the material seriously. Dune Part Two is epic exhilarating film making and reinforces Villeneuve as the go to director for heavyweight sci-fi.

related feature : We take a look at Dune – LIMITED EDITION UHD

related feature : ‘The Creator’ director Gareth Edwards introduces the UK premiere -and then got the audience to do..?

Here’s the Dune Part Two trailer……

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