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Review: “Dune: Part Two” Proves Sequels Can Still Be Better Than The OG

Review: “Dune: Part Two” Proves Sequels Can Still Be Better Than The OG

“Dune: Part Two” brings on something bigger

 

 

When Dune premiered in 2021, it was the hot ticket to have. It was the film that everyone talked about at every office or school break, every gathering, every chat thread. But Dune: Part Two has solidified the franchise, proving that sequels are still capable of overcoming the original material.

 

 

The film opens with a reluctant Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) and pregnant Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) trying to find their spots with the Fremen, gently aided by Chani (Zendaya). Paul is hell-bent on seeking revenge against the conspirators who destroyed his family. 

 

But before any revenge takes place, Paul needs to unite the Fremen and make them believe he is The One—the Lisan al-Gaib, the Voice from the Outer World—that they’ve been waiting decades and generations for. The more Paul succeeds, the clearer his sights of the future are; and he’s not sure he wants it. 

 

When Emperor Shaddam IV (Christopher Walken) arrives at Arrakis with his daughter, Princess Irulan (Florence Pugh), Paul makes it clear to the Fremen: he is the Lisan al-Gaib, and he isn’t going to be challenged any further.

 

 

There’s been a surplus of descriptions to describe the gravity of this film—“massive,” “epic,” “grand”—and all of them are right. Director Denis Villeneuve has clearly not cut any corners; instead gracefully and thoughtfully maneuvering them to bring us Dune: Part Two

 

My only gripe with the 2021 film is that it felt too much like a prequel. Sure, it was grand then, too, but it watched like a setup and not a film all on its own. Dune: Part Two turns this on its head, and gives us a film worthy of Frank Herbert’s beloved sci-fi novels. 

 

The action is non-stop, from the small moments where Paul learns the ways of the Fremen to the bigger instances where we see him ride the grandfather of all sandworms, or take down entire aircrafts with Chani beside him. But the action of the film is not limited to traditional blowups and CGI. Lady Jessica gets her fair share of screen time, as we watch her plot her way to win the hearts of the Fremen.

 

 

But Dune: Part Two shines just as brightly in its slower moments. When Chani and Paul stop and allow themselves to be mesmerized by the beauty of Arrakis, in how the sand climbs and falls and dances with the wind. When Jessica speaks to the child in her stomach. When the light switch turns on in the blue eyes of the Fremen as they see the future they dreamed to be within Paul’s grasp. 

 

Villeneuve also explores the politics a little bit more in this second chapter, exploring the nuances behind the Emperor’s death wish for the Atreides clan, and the fight between the Baron’s heirs. The other very obvious theme he explores is religion—or rather, the fanaticism around it. While some “Lisan al-Gaib” declarations provided humor to the otherwise serious film, it was clear that this direction was taken to make a point. Underneath, it explores the subthemes of desperation versus hope, and faith versus action.

 

 

Maybe more importantly, Dune: Part Two leads us into something bigger. Unlike other franchises that force the next step—the next blockbuster—Dune is naturally going through its lifespan. There is more; we just have to wait. 

 

“Dune: Part Two” is now showing in cinemas.

 

 

Art Alexandra Lara

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