Dune Part Two Delivers

By Angela Davis

When Dune first hit theaters in 2021, Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of the first half of Frank Herbert’s novel surprised both critics and audiences with its power. The worldbuilding and writing gave viewers new eyes into the world of Arrakis. Now, the second half of Villeneuve’s epic has released, and this the two-part saga has now come full circle as a modern science fiction masterpiece.

Picking up directly after 2021’s Dune, the film follows Paul Atreides (played again by Timothee Chamalet) as he works with the native dwellers of the planet Arrakis, known as the Fremen, to help them reclaim their world from an expansive galactic empire. However, as he learns the culture of the Fremen, a native prophecy comes to see Paul as their Messiah.

On the surface, Dune: Part Two has a simple sounding story. However, when diving into this film’s nearly three-hour runtime, there’s a lot more at play than meets the eye. The film’s themes explore imperialism and the effects colonialism on the indigenous peoples.

The Fremen’s planet is home to an all-important resource called “Spice” that’s crucial to interdimensional travel. So not only does Paul affect the native society, but the various Houses of the massive empire had played a long-time detrimental role on the people of Arrakis.

This film also serves as a deconstruction and criticism of the white savior cliche. This harmful trope in fiction has been used for decades to paint white protagonists as the “one true savior” for problems in other cultures. In Dune: Part Two, this whole trope is flipped and is sure to inspire discussion of how to phase it out in the future.

Of course, a rich and complex narrative isn’t the only thing that this film has to offer. What makes this second half of the Dune story an absolute must-see in theaters is its epic scale. The cinematography and overall design of this story is massive, perfectly capturing just how big this galactic conflict is, even when it’s primarily restricted to one planet.

As a result, there are gorgeous set pieces and action sequences layered throughout the film that make it a necessity to see on the biggest screen if possible. Whether it’s cruising with Paul Atreides on the back of a sandworm across the deserts of Arrakis, or epic battle sequences between the Fremen and imperial forces, Dune: Part Two encapsulates the magic of big-screen movies.

While 2021’s Dune served as an excellent appetizer, Dune: Part Two is the main course. This sequel will keep audiences hooked until the final credits roll.

Dune and Dune: Part Two will make it to the list of the best films of the 21st century, and cement Denis Villeneuve as one of the greatest science fiction filmmakers of all time.