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‘Dune: Part Two’ – The Best Sci-Fi Movie of All Time

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In the 80’s we had Star Wars and in the 2000’s we had The Lord of the Rings. Now we have Dune, a once in a lifetime epic sci-fi/fantasy masterpiece. A franchise that is now two movies deep, it feels like event filmmaking that is rarely seen in this day and age. Denis Villeneuve is back in the director’s chair, along with Greg Fraser as cinematographer and Hans Zimmer providing the score. The film stars Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides, Zendaya as Chani, Austin Butler as Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, Rebecca Furgeson as Lady Jessica, Javier Bardem as Stilgar, Florence Pugh as Princess Irulan, and the list of incredible talent involved goes on and on.

Dune: Part Two is the second half of Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s novel “Dune”. A piece of sci-fi fiction that inspired the likes of Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Mad Max, and The Matrix, I think you can tell what the pattern is by now. A novel that may be one of the most influential stories of all time, that’s made obvious after you see what it inspired. A novel that was said to be unadaptable, especially after a few failed attempts in the 80’s and 2000’s. But the impossible has now been deemed possible, as it was written. 

FUELED BY REVENGE

We pick up right where Part One left off with Paul and Jessica now with the Fremen, the native people of Arrakis. Paul seeks to learn the ways of the desert and fully harness the desert power his late father was seeking to master. This is all in an effort to get revenge on the Emperor and House Harkonnen, whose plan of deceit nearly eradicated House Atreides. As Paul learns the Fremen culture, the Fremen women of his visions in the first part, Chani becomes the women of his reality.

Photo via Warner Bros.

As their love grows, we see Jessica fan the flames of Paul being the one, the Kwisatz Haderach. A male Bene Gesserit (spooky space witches if you will) who would have access to memories of both male and female ancestral memories and the ability to bridge space and time with clairvoyance. The Fremen are split into two main views of belief, one believing the prophecy of the chosen one and one that views it all as a fairytale. Chani thinks it’s a fairytale, which makes her relationship with Paul all the more interesting. She serves as the heart and soul of the movie.

Paul’s reluctance to lead and accept his destiny drives the film forward. Chalamet as Paul is powerful, yet kind and thoughtful, and it is truly his most complex acting work to date. As his visions become more clear, so does his role in this future war. His journey in this movie, especially his work in the third act will be talked about for a long while.

MAY THY KNIFE CHIP AND SHATTER

No epic story goes without a compelling antagonist and this film delivers that tenfold. After thinking they wiped out all of the Atreides, Baron Harkonnen orders they continue spice production and rid the planet of the Fremen. As Rabban’s (Dave Bautista) attempts to keep the Fremen at bay fail again and again, the psychotic Feyd-Rautha is brought in to right the ship. Butler’s portrayal is feral, bringing an insane ferociousness to the screen, and is the perfect inverse of Paul.

Photo via Warner Bros.

Epic is a word that is overused, but there’s not many other words that can quite describe the experience of this film. It is truly epic in every sense of the word, and it is a thrilling journey of revenge fueled by sci-fi wonder and religious zealotry. A cautionary tale of messianic obsession filled with love, betrayal, politics, action, drama, and suspense, this is a film that will have you glued to the screen the minute the opening scene starts.

Dune: Part Two is a once in a lifetime cinematic experience on the most grand scale imaginable. The film proves to be a masterclass in filmmaking with jaw-dropping visuals, inspired performances, engrossing sound design, and gorgeous sprawling cinematography. Chalamet has cemented himself as a leading man in Hollywood, while Villeneuve has proven he’s one of, if not the best sci-fi directors of all time. Be sure to see this movie on the biggest screen possible and get lost in the spice. Long live the fighters.

Dune: Part Two releases in theaters on March 1st.

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