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‘Dune: Part Two’ - a sandblasted spectacle 


Ben Hurney / THE GATEPOST

By Jack McLaughlin

Arts & Features Editor


The first “Dune” movie came out nearly three years ago, and it was the first film review I ever wrote. That review is pretty bad, but one important detail was cemented in it - I’d be anxiously waiting for the sequel that was plagued with many delays.


It was with overwhelming excitement that I got to see the followup five days early at the biggest IMAX screen in New England - which of course is in a furniture store - and it’s with even greater joy that I can say it was spectacular. 


“Dune: Part Two” thrusts viewers right back into the ongoing conflict that the first movie ended on. Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) is seeking revenge against the Harkonnen family, who destroyed his family’s rule over the planet Arrakis. He unites with the inhabitants of Arrakis, the Fremen, to lead a fight against the rival house.


While this is happening, the Harkonnen are struggling to reclaim control of mining the precious spice on the planet due to Fremen attacks, so the Baron (Stellan Skarsgård) enlists his nephew Feyd-Rautha (Austin Butler) to take charge of the planet. 


Unsurprisingly, the cast is still amazing. The best newcomer is easily Butler - he somehow manages to pull off being a ruthless and cruel villain without it going over the top. 


The returning cast from the first film is still just as good. Chalamet is an amazing lead, and Zendaya’s character Chani gets way more screen time and has more of a chance to shine here compared to the first part. 


Paul’s character arc in this installment is way more interesting too. Without going into detail, he does not have a regular main character arc like in most stories, and if you haven’t read the book it’s a nice surprise. 


This film assumes viewers are familiar with the first installment, and wastes no time trying to catch anyone up. There aren’t any long scenes retelling the events of the first film or how the world works - it relies on you either watching the first one or already being familiar with the story. 


This creates a breakneck pace that works to benefit the film. No time is wasted in the near three-hour runtime, and each scene almost one-ups itself in terms of how it looks or is performed. 


It’s no shock to anyone that this film looks and sounds amazing. The beautiful sequences in the desert, contrasted with the bleak yet sleek homeworld of the Harkonnen, are accompanied by a sound mix that was shaking the theater for many of the scenes. 


The film was shot to be screened in IMAX theaters. Seeing it in one made for a more immersive experience - not only with the massive screen, but the incredible sound. 


If that didn’t make it clear enough, see this in the biggest and loudest theater you can find, you won’t regret it. 


Hans Zimmer’s score may not have hit the same as the first part’s, but it still has some banger tracks that call back to the sound he established in the first film’s soundtrack. 


The only major complaint for this movie is its ending. Again, without going into too much detail, it wrapped itself up very quickly and, similar to the first film, left me in shock that it was over already. 


Director Denis Villeneuve is already working on adapting the next book, “Dune Messiah,” and the ending reflects that in the sense that it ends rather abruptly. While not as much of a gut punch as the first movie’s ending, it left me thinking it was so close to a perfect ending and it wasn’t. 


This fortunately didn’t hinder my enjoyment of “Dune: Part Two” that much. This is a worthy followup that, I think, surpasses the first film in quality. The lack of a need for any context let this story hit the ground running and didn’t have any slow moments. 


It was all worth the wait. 


Rating: A

Long live the fighters

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