Published on March 1st, 2024 | by Harris Dang

Dune: Part Two – Film Review

Reviewed by Harris Dang on the 29th February of 2024
Universal Pictures presents a film by Denis Villeneuve
Produced by Mary Parent, Cale Boyter, Denis Villeneuve, Tanya Lapointe, and Patrick McCormick
Written by Denis Villeneuve and Jon Spaihts based on the novel Dune by Frank Herbert
Starring Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Dave Bautista, Christopher Walken, Lea Seydoux, Stellan Skarsgard, Charlotte Rampling, Javier Bardem, and Souheila Yacoub
Edited by Joe Walker
Running Time: 167 minutes
Rating: M
Release Date: the 29th of February 2024

Dune: Part Two commences mere hours after the events of the first film where we follow the journey of Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet), the former Duke of House Atreides. He has united with the Fremen people after his people (including his family) were destroyed by the Harkonnen. Alongside his mother, Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), he vows to fight alongside the Fremen to bring down the Harkonnen and bring peace to the Fremen people. However, behind closed doors lies secrets, deceit, and fervour. There are secrets within the Atreides family bloodline, deceit that could change allegiances, and fervour for a higher power that could drastically forecast a future of impending doom.

Adapting Frank Herbert’s imposing novel would be a mammoth task for any filmmaker. Yet thanks to the talents of filmmaker Denis Villeneuve and a jam-packed crew of riches in front of and behind the camera, the first film (which adapts the first half of the novel) was a financial and critical success. Dune: Part Two is not only one of the most anticipated sequels in recent years but one of the most anticipated blockbusters of 2024. Do Villeneuve and co. pull off what most sequels fail to do: improve on the original film?

One of the flaws of the first film is that it spent large amounts of its runtime establishing the world the story entails. It left audiences examining and mulling over swathes of details to understand the ambitious storytelling. Thankfully in the sequel, the worldbuilding is more relaxed and even keel. It leaves room for more character development as well as cinematic catharsis in terms of action and spectacle.


Villeneuve follows through all the thematic set-ups from the prequel, including family bloodlines, messianic leanings involving Paul, broiling tensions through both opposing sides as well as in-house, romantic tensions, but with a more assured hand this time around. Unlike the first film, the exposition is delivered behaviourally and organically as opposed to just being delivered for the sake of the audience. Even with the dense exposition, Villeneuve delivers thematic power and character through action. It also helps that a lot of the world was established beforehand, allowing Villeneuve and crew to let loose with more action, cinematic panache, and character drama.

The action is also stronger this time. With the massive-scale war battles and the smaller-scale, character-based intimate knife fights, they are all chaotic and emotionally rousing with all the effective goodwill behind them. A huge credit goes to the establishing of character stakes, even if the film abides by simple themes, such as there are no winners in the game of war as well as those who are not willing to utilise power are the most capable of wielding it.

With hidden depths to uncover in terms of environments (through both Fremen and Harkonnen eyes) as well as characterisations (particularly through the burgeoning relationship between Paul and Chani), co-writer/director Denis Villeneuve, cinematographer Greig Fraser, and composer Hans Zimmer up the ante in terms of tension and pathos. With their immense contributions, they manage to convey the scope and especially the stakes of the storytelling; all whilst conveying the otherworldly feel that audiences found immersive in the first film.

Huge praise should go to the ensemble cast of rising stars, acting veterans, and Villeneuve regulars. The supporting cast of film newcomers, including Christopher Walken (who takes the expression “uneasy lies the head that wears a crown” with remarkable ease), Lea Seydoux (knowingly and subtly seductive), Florence Pugh (displays intelligence and sympathy with shades of grey), Austin Butler (wildly psychotic and sadistic, with a great resemblance to Skarsgard) and Souheila Yacoub (amusingly roguish) all make a great impression. While the cast reprisals of Rebecca Ferguson (once the emotional anchor, now the wild card game-changer), Javier Bardem (the grizzled commander, now the immovable zealot), Josh Brolin (whose shell of unapologetic hatred hides shades of loyalty), Charlotte Rampling (whose permanent scowl hides any shade of humanity), Stellan Skarsgard (gluttonous and literally slimy) and Dave Bautista (desperate for validation and making a mark within the Harkonnen legacy) step up a notch with their roles that escalate the stakes to new heights.

However, the emotional core is ironclad thanks to its leads. Only being an extended cameo at best, Zendaya steps up to the task of Chani with much-needed heart and conviction. Her voice of reasoning, warmth, strength, and understated chemistry with Chalamet lends a strong emotional core to the film that makes the drama effective. The relationship also strengthens and motivates the arc that Paul undergoes as he desperately tries to avoid his path to becoming a messianic figure. As the lead character, Chalamet carries the film with an amazing presence, effective nuance, ample charisma, and a vivid portrayal of a man who carries a huge burden, governed by his inner conflict concerning revenge and a righteous resolve for the good of all people.

Overall, Dune: Part Two delivers mightily on the promises set in the first film with bountiful aplomb. With a more massive scope, more satisfying payoffs, richer characterisations and more confident performances, it sets an incredibly high bar not only for blockbusters in 2024, but for sequels in this century. Highly recommended.

Dune: Part Two – Film Review Harris Dang

Summary: Dune: Part Two delivers mightily on the promises set in the first film with bountiful aplomb. It sets an incredibly high bar not only for blockbusters in 2024, but for sequels in this century.



About the Author'

Back to Top ↑
  • Quick Navigation

  • Advertisement

  • Latest Posts

  • First Look

  • Join us on Facebook