Dune 2 review – King of modern sci-fi

Recently a new Dune-movie came out, so I decided to take the terrible burden on myself to watch it.

Tekst: Denis Kypr

If you are not familiar with the Dune universe at all, let me sketch it out for you. The whole universe is run by whoever controls the Spice,  a rare material that enables interstellar travel. This substance is mined on planet Arrakis, which is mostly desert and full of giant Sandworms. This planet is run by one of the Great Houses of the Imperium. Different factions want to control this planet and the Spice, as it enables power for themselves.  Throughout all of this, some people of Arrakis prepare  for the Prophet. This is a very concise description of the story, but I don’t want to spoil too much.

 

I find it to be both a solid movie and quality sci-fi, which is sometimes hard to obtain. Dune is dark, dirty and gritty, which distinguishes it from other nicely polished futuristic lightsaber-like movies or series that we have seen in the last few years.

The hostile and rigid design of its host planet adds to its uniqueness and makes the whole world feel real. Tiny details like bending lasers and technology of the native population, suck you in and get you engaged as  a sandpit when you were five years old. All of this is paired with beautiful cinematography where every frame could easily be a wallpaper on your computer.

 

Certainly the most important part is the story, where there is hardly anything to criticise. Themes that were set out in the first movie are explored more thoroughly, such as the processes of power. Characters and their relationships make sense and all of them have understandable motivations. The acting feels natural, except  for the performance of  Timothée Chalamet who, although good looking,  seems to have difficulties changing  facial expressions.

 

Another strong suit of the film lies in their portrayal of the native people of Arrakis, the Fremen. They are not depicted as the stereotypical oriental tribes in Western action movies, as underdeveloped people rejecting anything from the outside and sticking to their traditions. Although the latter is more or less true, still Fremen are innovative and they are more than their traditions. In this movie, the character of Paul allows to explore the complexity of the native culture and identity, and thus overcome the usual one-dimensional depiction.  As he is learning “the ways of the desert”, he is also getting to know Fremen technology, showing their capacity to adapt to foreign technology and not blindly sticking to old habits. 

 

It would not be a proper playtime on the beach without some grains of sand getting into your mouth and leaving you with an unpleasant taste. In this case, the grains are pacing. The first movie contains a lot of silent and atmospheric shots, allowing you to immerse yourself in the world and to piece the story line together. In the second movie, the pace picks up significantly, with a constant succession of crucial plot points. Especially in the third act of the movie, there is a sudden shift which snaps you out of the experience. It is a moment that you could have seen coming, but not enough evidence is offered to properly let it sink in. As Dune already has a runtime of nearly three hours, though, it’s understandable the director couldn’t keep everything in, and I was able to forgive them this small flaw.

 

Overall, Dune: part two is a movie that is both stunning, entertaining and represents a different sci-fi genre that has not been around since the release of Star Wars. Tiny details and unique concepts help you to keep your eyes on the screen and feel like that this world truly makes sense. The biggest stumbling block of Dune: part two is its pacing (#VILLENEUVECUT!), but its great world and story sucks you in like a giant Worm and spits you out on a vast desert of current original sci-fi-movies.

 

0 Comment