Dune: Part 2 (2024)

Movie Info

Movie Info

Dennis Villenueve
Run Time
2 hours and 46 minutes

VP Content Ratings

Sex & Nudity
Star Rating
★★★★4.5 out of 5

Relevant Quotes

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory…

Matthew 4:8
…and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?”

Matthew 11:3
On the desert planet Arrakis Paul Atreides (rt) has joined the rebel Fremen people, among whom is Chani (3rd from rt.) (c) Warner Bros. Pictures

Frank Herbert’s massive novel was considered by some as “unfilmable, and when David Lynch’s version came out in 1984, Roger Ebert branded it “a real mess.” Not so Dennis Villeneuve 2021 version, which proved not only a big box office success, but also went on to be nominated for 10 Academy Awards. That version sets up the story of a feudal universe in which young Paul Atreides’ House Atreides is almost wiped out by evil men intent to take over Arrakis, the desert planet that had been assigned to his family. Mixed in with the power struggles of feudal-style lords, a mixed form of warfare that included swords as well as deadly firearms and gigantic interstellar spaceships are themes of anti-colonialism, the exploitation of Nature, and revenge.

Arrakis is a desert planet inhabited by a Bedouin-like indigineous people known as the Freman well adapted to its aridity, who have to keep hidden from the outside forces bent on exploiting their homeland. They have learned how to survive and make use of the deadly sand worms that burrow beneath the desert. These worms are so huge—up to 300 meters long!—that the very sight of one instills awe. The outsiders are interested in Arrakis because it is the only know source of melange, called spice, highly prized because it makes possible relatively quick interstellar space, as well as prolong life. So valuable that it fuels the greed of the galactic Emperor and members of the rivals to the House of Atreides, the House of Harkonnen—indeed, there are enough nasty villains for several Dunes­­—and that actually is what we are being treated to. The filmmakers wisely decided not to attempt to cram all of the massive novel into one film, as   had tried (and failed) to do. We learn at the “conclusion” or better, climax, of this film that there will be a third Dune film.

Timothée Chalamet’s Paul makes an intriguing protagonist, one haunted by disturbing visions of the future that include the Fremen young woman Chani ( Zendaya) and signs that he might be the prophesized Chosen One longed for by the Fremen. He is uncertain of this and worried that if he is, and he succeeds, his quest will end in violence and destruction, rather than the peace craved by the Fremen. (“All my visions lead to hoor,” Paul admits to a friend.) When he joins the Fremen and falls in love with Chani, she too is disturbed, preferring that the Chosen One. This reminds me of the visions that Jesus is subjected to in the intriguing  Jesus: the Miniseries broadcast on CBS in 2000: Jesus wakes up, haunted by a nightmare sent by Satan in which warriors from several future ages rush to kill each other, all of them shouting, “In the name of Jesus!”

There is an order of mystic women, one of which is Paul’s mother Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson); spectacular battle scenes involving gigantic machines; breath-taking scenes of the Fremen and of Paul riding on the backs of sand worms; and a troubled love story that seems to be destined to end sadly

I have not tried here to recap the lengthy, complex plot. (You can find this on the IMDB website by clicking here.) The incredible production values are matched by the A-list of actors, headed by Timothée Chalamet. People of faith will be challenged to see how the Biblical passages quoted above are reflected in the story.

But for a film that appeals to lovers of the action genre that also engages the mind and spirit. This is a film not to be missed. But be sure to see it on as large a screen as you can afford in order to soak in the grandeur of the landscape and the titanic battles.

This review is in the April issue of VP along with a set of questions for reflection and/or discussion. If you have found reviews on this site helpful, please consider purchasing a subscription or individual issue in The Store.


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