Dune: Part 2 – Initial thoughts

I feel like a large portion of my Geek experience in recent history has been spent waiting for Dune.

First, Dune: Part One was delayed from its planned 2020 release to 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Then, Dune: Part Two was delayed from 2023 to 2024, due to the Hollywood strike. 

I would like to issue an apology to my family and friends, who had to deal with my excessive hype for these movies and heartbreak over the delays. But I am happy to confirm that yes, I have now finally seen Part Two, and it was worth the wait!

My local AMC theater offered a special screening of Dune: Part Two on Sunday, Feb. 25, ahead of its official release date. It was not covered by my regular AMC pass/membership, but how could I say no to catching a sneak peek at the sequel to one of my now all-time favorite sci-fi movies?

I’ve shared before that the first time I read the Dune novel, it didn’t click for me. I didn’t think about it again until I saw the trailer for Denis Villeneuve’s first Dune film, which absolutely blew me away. Seeing the story on the big screen made me fall in love with the world and the characters, and when I went back to listen to the Dune novel on audiobook, I fell even more in love with the story. 

Dune: Part Two is the perfect sequel in that it really doesn’t feel like a sequel at all; it’s more like you were watching Part One, paused it for a couple years, and then just hit play again. 

All the things I loved about the first movie are replicated here. Denis Villeneuve is becoming one of my favorite directors, and the cinematography here is just breathtaking (especially in IMAX!). The action sequences are thrilling, but they don’t overshadow the quieter interludes and moments of character development. And of course, the sand worms are awesome. I squealed with geeky glee at several parts.

My favorite characters from the last movie were probably Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica and Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides. The always-wonderful Ferguson did such a great job as a character caught between her loyalties as a mother and as a powerful Bene Gesserit. And I was so intrigued to see where Paul’s journey would go. 

In Part Two, I loved seeing more of the Fremen characters and their culture, particularly Javier Bardem as Stilgar and Zendaya as Chani. Austin Butler as Feyd-Rautha is something to behold; he’s intensely committed to the role, and he’s a character you love to hate. 

I’m dying to discuss this film in more depth, but I don’t want to spoil it. I feel like the big thematic moments are spoiler-y for those who aren’t familiar with the source material. 

So I think I’ll just leave this review as it stands, and I hope to write more after its wide release. It is 100% worth seeing on opening weekend, on the biggest screen you can find.

And yes, I’m already ready for the next one1

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