The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

Error: No feed found.

Please go to the Instagram Feed settings page to create a feed.

‘Dune: Part Two’ is a bigger, better and action-packed sequel

Image courtesy of Legendary Pictures
Hit sequel to “Dune” (2021), “Dune: Part Two” (2024), had an incredibly successful opening, grossing $82,505,391 domestically in its first weekend, more than twice the domestic opening of its predecessor.

On March 1, 2024, the long-awaited sequel to the box office hit, “Dune,” “Dune: Part Two,” was released to fervent audiences. All across the United States, theaters were packed with expectant viewers, and “Dune: Part Two” did not disappoint. The movie completes the narrative of author Frank Herbert’s novel, “Dune,” starting with the main character Paul Atreides’ (Timothee Chalamet) assimilation into the Fremen, the native race of the titular planet Dune (Arrakis), culture and ending at the start of a new holy war. The film is an excellent piece of cinema with few flaws, featuring stunning visuals and a heart-gripping narrative.

Arrakis is heavily sought after because it is the only planet with spice, a miracle drug that expands one’s mind, dyes eyes blue and allows for space navigation. House Harkonnen initially controls Arrakis, but it is reassigned to House Atreides, a rival house, by the Pasidah Emperor, Shaddam Corrino IV (Christopher Walken), who saw the Atreides as a threat to his power. The Harkonnen baron, Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Stellen Skarsgard), secretly worked with the emperor and his army, the Sardaukar, to assassinate the Atreides and regain control over spice.

Paul Atreides and his mother, Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), are two of the last survivors of the House Atreides following the assassination, and the story follows them as they attempt to take revenge on the Harkonnens. The two find themselves amidst the Fremen, who see Paul as a prophet and messiah called the Lisan al Gaib. As the story progresses, they slowly acclimate to the new culture. Before long, the Fremen people worship Paul as a hero. This climaxes in a final battle where Paul and the Fremen defeat the Harkonnen and the emperor, taking the enemy leaders hostage. After a fight between Paul and his cousin, Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen (Austin Butler), Paul proclaims himself the new Pasidah Emperor, taking the former emperor’s daughter, Princess Irulan (Florence Pugh), as his wife. The film ends with Paul beginning a holy war against the noble houses to legitimize his rise.

From the very first scene, “Dune: Part Two” hooked me in with a brilliantly shot and choreographed confrontation between Harkonnen soldiers and the Fremen. The film never loses this built-up steam as it introduces more characters and elements. From the opening, I could tell that “Dune: Part Two” would be as good, if not better, than the first film. “Dune”, faithfully adapted Herbert’s novel, depicting the first majority of its story to great success. However, in its continuation, director Denis Villeneuve chose to stray from the novel to significant effect. During the second half of the book, characters sit in a room and exposition dump to readers about the ongoing events, while in the movie, Villeneuve shows firsthand everything that is happening. This decision leads the movie to be more engaging and action-packed.

The film also improves on what was lacking in its predecessor: compelling character development. Throughout the movie, I was thoroughly invested in Paul’s character arc as he transformed from an impassive and lost young man to a driven and omnipotent leader. Another character who I enjoyed seeing fleshed out further was Chani (Zendaya), Paul’s Fremen love interest. The film dedicates a portion of its runtime to seeing how Chani reacts. I found this refreshing, as it not only made her a complex and compelling character, something “Dune” severely lacked, but also gave a different perspective on Paul’s transformation. Through Chani’s eyes, we see him turn from a loving person with no interest in seizing power from her people to a cold and uncaring person who would claim another woman as his wife and lead her people to a bloody war.

“Dune: Part Two” not only expands on the protagonists; it also expands upon the antagonists. I was consistently awed by the scenes on Giedi Prime, the Harkonnen home world. Austin Butler’s Feyd-Rautha serves as a brutal antagonist and rival to Paul, and his introduction in the arena is one of the best scenes in the movie. The stylistic black-and-white lighting, sweeping camera angles, brilliant fight choreography, and intimidating soundtrack ensured I wouldn’t forget the charismatic psychopath.

However, the film isn’t perfect. The movie suffers from unnecessary humor and plot devices that left me questioning their plausibility. Many of the issues reveal themselves near the end, with the writers seemingly rushing to tie up loose ends like the conflict between characters Glossu Rabban (Dave Bautista) and Gurney Halleck (Josh Brolin), giving them a distastefully short confrontation. The final duel between Paul and Feyd-Rautha is one of the most disappointing parts of the film. The fight left me in awe as Paul impossibly survives two knife wounds, and Feyd-Rautha inexplicably turns his back in the middle of their battle.

Despite its flaws, “Dune: Part Two” is a brilliant picture from Denis Villeneuve with a captivating two-hour and 46-minute runtime, stunning visuals and compelling and believable characters.

Story continues below advertisement
Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

Information about our comments policy can be found here:
All tjTODAY Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *