Dune: Part Two

Verdict: Dune: Part Two is event cinema at its finest. Make sure you see it on a big screen and soak up the stunning visuals in all their glory.

Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson and Zendaya return for the second instalment in this sci-fi saga.

It’s time to return to Arrakis for the second part of Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi epic Dune.

Picking up right where the first film concluded, Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet) and his mother Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) are now living in the desert with the Fremen, the indigenous people of Arrakis, following the destruction of House Atreides.

Stilgar (Javier Bardem) believes Paul to be the Fremen’s saviour, the Lisan al Gaib, and the one set to lead them to a green paradise. Paul insists they’ve got the wrong man, but at every turn, he seems to confirm that the prophecy is coming true.

This drives a wedge between Paul and his Fremen love interest Chani (Zendaya), who wants Paul to fight with her people rather than lead them. He has to decide whether to accept his destiny or not.

Just like Part One, this second chapter is an awe-inspiring technical achievement on a scale rarely seen in the cinema these days. It is a visually impressive and mind-blowing spectacle filled with exciting action scenes, unmatched world building and gigantic sandworms. It’ll be a shock if cinematographer Greig Fraser doesn’t win another Oscar next year because every shot is stunning or grand in scale.

While it is a technical and visual masterpiece, the story feels emotionally distant and detached, like there isn’t much going on underneath that beautiful surface.

Zendaya’s performance as Chani has the most emotional resonance and she is the heart of the film, although the narrative revolves around Paul. Her looks of heartbreak, betrayal and vulnerability add character depth to the story and make us feel something, which is rare in Villeneuve’s Dune universe.

She is the standout in the star-studded cast of hot in-demand actors. The best newcomer is Austin Butler as Feyd-Reutha Harkonnen, who wants to wipe out the Fremen and stop them sabotaging his spice-harvesting operation on Arrakis. He is menacing, sadistic and actually pretty scary! With his bald head, black teeth and strange voice, he transforms into an unrecognisable monster and it’s a shame he doesn’t have more to do.

Laughs were pretty scarce in the first film but thankfully we have some light relief this time thanks to Stilgar, who is surprisingly very funny. He deserves a shout-out for his comic relief.

Dune: Part Two is event cinema at its finest. Make sure you see it on a big screen and soak up the stunning visuals in all their glory.

In cinemas from Friday 1st March.

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