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Thursday, March 28, 2024

• Review

Eddie Gustafsson

'DUNE: PART 2' | REVIEW

“A powerful highlight of 2024.”

That is some heavy words indeed, words that many films in 2024 will have a hard time competing with. ‘DUNE: PART 2’ is a film worth remembering, it does so many things in an exceptional way, and struggles in such few areas. We have seen the newest Dennis Villeneuve movie, and you are about to read our reviewers thoughts on it.

Image: © 2024 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

While I attended a screening of this film almost a month ago, it’s safe to say that this review is somewhat delayed. But it still will hold words that need to see the light of day. Dennis Villeneuve has managed to make a movie that is not my personal favorite, but still, nonetheless, an exceptional cinematic achievement for 2024.

‘DUNE: PART 2’ is not a film that you will casually miss is playing in theaters. We have seen a few epic trailers and with a cast as star filled as the one in ‘DUNE: PART 2’. It is indeed hard to let a film like this pass over your head. Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Stellan Skarsgård, and Josh Brolin, I could even keep going for another few sentences. It’s a big cast, and they give off big performances, there is no doubt about it. Personally, I think an (un-recognizable) Austin Butler, Timothée Chalamet, and a (scary) Ferguson gives the strongest of. But that is not to throw any shadow on the remaining cast, they all do a great job portraying complex characters. Most of the actors/actresses also uses a god amount of expressive acting, as I like to call it, making their performances feel even more authentic and real.   

Image: © 2024 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Because this is a complex film, it is a big story a long time in the making. It is an interesting storyline that is mostly well paced, while not the most exciting story of all time, it is certainly a heavy-weight-champion one. Some editing flaws were noticed, and while mostly affecting the overall continuum of the story, it will also end up affecting the overall score we give the film. There were not many of these cohesion errors, just a pair or three that, as I said, affected the overall flow of the film. But it is still something worth taking notes on.

The writing surrounding this picture flows evenly, most dialogue is well written, and nothing really feels un-authentically delivered. The film can be considered slow paced at times, especially at the start. But the build-up is great, and although the ending is not as perfect as I would have liked it to be, it is still conclusive enough for the story. It also sets up the story to continue (Dune: Messiah) if the studio so wishes, and I hope they do. 

Image: © 2024 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Furthermore, talking about the technical aspects, they are at times well used and at other times jaw dropping. The score is mighty and has a great use of base. It is not my favorite score of all times, but nonetheless a powerful one. (Important to note, is that there is ‘a lot’ of screaming in the film. While it can be considered to show dominance or fear, it was somewhat annoying after a while.) Visually the film is striking, there are many gorgeous shots, and the cinematography is mostly exquisite. Some scenes and lighting choices really stick with you a long time after watching the film.

What did not stick with me, was the action. I felt it was just ‘okay’. It was nothing that reminded me of ‘the action movie of the year’. Surely, the fighting was well choreographed, and weaving in the emotional struggles of all characters some scenes really turned heavy and adrenaline inducing. But the action still, at times, felt a tad bit boring.

On the other hand, the CGI of the film was impressive, it looked mostly solid and, in a way, cool. The overall tone of the dessert filled film works. However, it does not really feel natural at times. It is hard for a sci-fi film to look natural in our eyes, ‘science fiction’ does have the word ‘fiction’ in it, basically meaning it is ‘not realistic’. ‘DUNE: PART 2’s for example, jetpacks, was noted to feel weird at times if you were to ask me. The prosthetics in the film is also really impressing, especially when you look at the suit which Stellan Skarsgård wears. It is heavy both in terms of actual weigh and in terms of visual look. An all-powerful suit for an influential performance.    

Image: © 2024 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

While the film felt somewhat too ‘other-worldly’ at times, the suspense of ‘DUNE: PART 2’ is truly there. It is a stellar film, there is no doubt about it. In terms of overall production, it is close to a masterpiece. The film felt moderately better during my screening compared to initial expectations. It is not the most ‘fun’ film currently playing, but it is at least a great looking one. Personally, I preferred Timothée Chalamet in this film compared to the December released ‘WONKA’. Which was great, but not as immense as ‘DUNE: PART 2’.

The chemistry between the main characters of the film is also amazing. Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya, which can be considered the absolute main-main characters, have a great emotional connection on/off-screen and give rather fantastic yet honest performances. The film sets up a lot of themes surrounding loyalty, self-discovery, acceptance, and fate. The plot can feel hard to fathom at times in terms of story direction, but it’s nothing to major that will disrupt your viewing experience. As long as you do not fall asleep, which I hope you won’t... 

Image: © 2024 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The film is of ‘grand’ scale. Especially in terms of sets and environments. They are large and fitting for the massive story at hand. Together with the cinematography the sets are at times also breathtaking. It is a vast film with extensive sets to put it lightly.    

And without putting it lightly, ‘DUNE: PART 2’ is an ‘epic’ film. I think it is widely preferred over ‘Part 1’ from 2021 to be honest. I am not saying that ‘Part 1’ is bad by any means, but this film felt more like a complete package in terms of its story and character progression. Amidst, a powerful score, powerful performances, and some lovely cinematography, ‘DUNE: PART 2’ is a true highlight of the calendar year. It will therefore, from us, receive a rating of:

RATING: 4.5 / 5

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