About This Item

Preview Image for Dune: Part Two
Dune: Part Two (Blu-ray Details)

Unique ID Code: 0000225633
Added by: Jitendar Canth
Added on: 16/6/2024 18:47
View Changes

Other Reviews, etc
  • Log in to Add Reviews, Videos, Etc
  • Places to Buy

    Searching for products...

    Other Images

    Review for Dune: Part Two

    9 / 10


    I was kind of lukewarm on Denis Villeneuve’s Dune back in 2021, even though it was a very well made film, telling the story in an engaging and coherent way. He’d taken the first half of the dense Frank Herbert masterpiece, and told that story over 2½ hours. One reason is that I’ve never really invested emotionally in a Denis Villeneuve film; instead usually appreciating them at an academic distance. The second reason of course is David Lynch’s Dune, the 1984 misfire that eventually became a cult classic, and a film that has cemented its visual language of the Dune universe firmly in my mind. It tried to cram the entire book into around two hours... and naturally it failed. And that is the reason why I’ve been looking forward to this sequel a lot more than I did for the 2021 first film. Lynch’s Dune managed to get a coherent story out of the first half of the book, so much so that I could compare it to the 2021 film, and pick and choose what I preferred. But in Lynch’s Dune, the second half of the novel was pretty much presented as a 20 minutes highlights package. Dune Part Two from Denis Villeneuve gives 2 hours and 45 minutes to the second half of the book. At the very least, this should be a lot more satisfying.

    Inline Image

    8000 years in the future, the universe is bound by the Spice, which can only be found on the planet Arrakis. Until now, Arrakis has been the fief of House Harkonnen, the brutal lords of planet Giedi Prime. But now the Emperor of the Universe has deemed that Arrakis will become the responsibility of House Atreides of the planet Caladan. There is unimaginable wealth in the sands of Arrakis and the spice that is mined there, but there is much danger as well, from the giant sandworms, and the enigmatic native Fremen. But worse than that is that it’s obviously a trap, with the Emperor finding a solution to the popular House Atreides by giving them an impossible task, on a planet that the Harkonnens are determined to take back.

    Inline Image

    There are plans within plans. For generations, the Bene Gesserit sisterhood has been practicing selective breeding among the great Houses to bring forth a messiah to reshape the future of humanity. When Jessica became pregnant by Duke Leto Atreides, she was ordered to give him a daughter, but she disobeyed and gave him a son, Paul. She taught Paul in the ways of the Bene Gesserit, and now that the Atreides arrive on Arrakis, some of the native Fremen see the fulfilment of prophecy at hand.

    Inline Image

    At the end of the first film, the insidious Harkonnen scheme had unfolded, and supported by the Emperor’s own Sardaukar troops, they had wiped out the Atreides, and taken back control of Arrakis. Paul and his mother Jessica had escaped to the desert where they had encountered the Fremen, led by Stilgar. Paul managed to impress their erstwhile captors, and a girl named Chani in particular, by defeating a warrior in mortal combat. Now Stilgar sees the prophecy incarnate in the young Paul Atreides, and leads them to shelter. When Paul learns the extent of Fremen power in the deserts of Arrakis, he realises that he can be avenged against the Harkonnen if he leads the Fremen into battle. He just has to learn the ways of the desert. The future weighs heavily on the would-be messiah, and he can see nothing but carnage if he chooses that path. But while he is reluctant, Jessica has different ideas.

    Inline Image

    The Disc

    Dune Part Two gets a 2.40:1 widescreen 1080p transfer, and the choice between Dolby Atmos English, DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround Italian, and DD 5.1 Surround English and English Audio Descriptive, with subtitles in these languages and Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish. There are no issues with this transfer of a recent film. The image is clear and sharp, with excellent detail and rich, consistent colour. The surround is suitably epic and immersive, really delivering on the action and the music, while keeping the dialogue mostly clear throughout (except when some characters need to whisper). So any criticism will only be pointed towards the creative choices in the film. The CGI is as seamless and as effective as it should be in a big budget film, and the locations, sets and costume design really make the film special. The sequel simply adds more when it comes to production value, exploring the Fremen culture, taking us to the Harkonnen homeworld, and adding a little Imperial splendour. It’s a heavily colour graded film once more (the Harkonnen exteriors were shot in infra-red!) and I still think that Arrakis looks cold. Hans Zimmer continues composing the music, and it’s a highly evocative score (and this time I wasn’t comparing). I have no complaints about the end credits either, perfectly legible this time.

    Inline Image


    You get one disc in a thin BD Amaray style eco-case (with holes in the plastic) wrapped in an o-card slipcover. The disc boots to a static menu. You’ll find the following extras.

    Inline Image

    Chakobsa Training (4:51)
    Creating the Fremen World (11:41)
    Finding the Worlds of Dune (6:24)
    Buzz Around the New “Thopter” (3:51)
    Worm-riding (9:23)
    Becoming Feyd (7:33)
    A New Set of Threads (7:40)
    Deeper Into the Desert: The Sound of Dune (12:59)

    Inline Image


    Arrakis still looks cold, and my appreciation of another Denis Villeneuve film begins with the academic perspective. Despite the runtime (both films together take this adaptation of Dune past the five hour mark), there is still stuff left on the cutting room floor. There are no Mentats in this film, Count Fenring is thanked in the credits but doesn’t make an appearance, although his wife does, and once again we don’t see the Spacing Guild. But having said all of that, I really enjoyed this second half of Dune, and even more so than the first film. That first film was massive in scope, was all about world-building, and giving us the big picture. With the Atreides all but gone as this film begins, the focus becomes a lot more intimate. The story follows Paul Atreides on his journey to becoming the messiah, with a big emphasis on his growing relationship with Chani, and his misgivings over the prophecies, while at the same time his mother Jessica is on a different path, embracing those prophecies and moving events to make them come to pass.

    Inline Image

    The story follows Paul as he’s introduced to the Fremen, starts living among them and learning from them, their ways, how to survive the desert, how to fight the Harkonnen, although in this regard he has much to teach as well. Over the course of the film we see this, and his growing relationship with Chani, who here is portrayed as just as adept a warrior as anyone else among the Fremen. At the same time, we see something of the Harkonnen depravity on Dune, although the Baron remains more of a distant manipulator than a scenery chewing character. That’s left to his heirs, the brutish Beast Rabban, and the lithe and psychotic Feyd Rautha, who both own the screen whenever they are on it. This film also has the time to develop these characters more, especially Feyd Rautha, whose connection to Paul Atreides is explicitly revealed here.

    Inline Image

    I like the way the characters grow and unfold a lot more in this film than I did when I watched the first. It’s a more effective piece of storytelling, and while I might have begun watching the film with an academic distance, I was finally invested in a Denis Villeneuve film by the time the end credits rolled. It’s not perfect though. A couple of those aforementioned excisions from the film are noticed, and while I thought in the Lynch movie, Jose Ferrer was ineffectual as the Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV; he at least looked regal in the costume. Here, Christopher Walken plays Christopher Walken as usual, albeit in a caftan, and he’s even more ineffectual an Imperial than Jose Ferrer was.

    Inline Image

    So now I finally have a watchable film adaptation of Dune in my collection. It’s not as gloriously camp and outrageous as the Lynch version, but it is a compelling story, very well told here. Apparently Denis Villeneuve is currently working on the next Dune film as he wants to tell Paul’s story in its entirety. I guess that is Dune Messiah, although it is going to make an odd trilogy; quite the inverse of the three original Star Wars films. Only Dune Part Two ends on a triumphant note, albeit something of a hollow triumph. I guess happy endings are over-rated, and we can deal with something more downbeat. I wouldn’t have been as enthusiastic a movie ago, but I am really looking forward to more Dune from Denis Villeneuve.

    Your Opinions and Comments

    I still preferred David Lynch’s Dune which is part of my DVD collection. Maybe it was the fantastic music and the brilliant scenery and the way the spaceship could warp through time and space instantly via mutated humans. The OTT actors were brilliantly picked for their parts. It had far more impact to me than this newer version that was more mundane, boring in places and far longer than needed, and easily forgotten.
    posted by Par Mizan on 21/6/2024 22:01