Arts & Entertainment

‘Dune: Part Two’ surpasses expectations and cultivates a new dedicated following

Denis Villeneuve creates a stunning new look with incredible VFX and Oscar-worthy performances that will leave audiences in awe.   

The words used by Paul Atreides, the main character of “Dune,” have quite literally echoed the film’s synopsis and central message: “It’s not a prophecy. It’s a story! A story you keep telling,” one that keeps expanding and revealing more. Yet this time, the “Dune” world has reached far more complex layers of steep, mountainous sand dunes and tantalizingly dark and mysterious characters.  

Paul Atreides, played by actor Timothée Chalamet embarks on a long but imperative journey to the planet Arrakis where he learns to become one with the sand and sandworms with help from the Fremen people. According to the ancient prophecy, Paul is destined to become the messiah of the Fremen people and liberate them from Arrakis. However, until he is ready to fully accept himself as “the one” who leads people, he will struggle to find his place amongst the sand people.  

While the intersocial relationships between characters and the story building keep you invested in what’s next to come, the true winner of the film lies in the stunning visual effects (VFX) and cinematography. The scenes where imagery of sand worms and large, fantastic spaceships invade Arrakis are where we really see the expansive universe that director Denis Villeneuve has crafted, based on the books by Frank Herbert. 

 In one scene at the start of the film, characters Paul Atreides and Chani, played by actress Zendaya, are attacking a Harkonnens ship which has invaded Arrakis. The loud sounds of a massive vibrating trumpet fill the entire movie theatre. The movie at times was uncomfortably loud and blaring through the speakers. It echoes the powerful and majestic world of Arrakis and all its glory. The sound alone is enough to knock you off your seat and keep you entertained at the spectacle that is sand world.  

According to Villeneuve in an interview with ScreenCrush, he wanted to bring fans into the desert world of Arrakis and the powerful landscapes that the sand dunes offer. The only way to do this is to see it in IMAX movie theatres. I couldn’t agree more. The stunning VFX alone are enough to blow your mind. Coupled with fantastic story building and impressive Oscar-worthy performances by acclaimed actors like Stellan Skarsguard,  Christopher Walken and Javier Hardem, there’s no losing here.  

The incredible sandworms have not only been a massive spectacle of the “Dune” franchise, but also a large selling point of the sand world. During the scene where Paul Atreides is famously riding one of the sandworms, we feel the immense build up and pure shock of seeing the incredible beast.  

The Fremens use small mechanical devices known as “thumpers” which help call out to the worms. By creating uniquely specific thumping sounds, they can attract worms almost instantly. Several moments after Paul places his thumper in the ground, we watch a large (almost comically huge) thunderous sandworm emerge from the earth.  

Paul leaps onto its back while mountains of sand blast against his face. The ravenous lifelike beasts pull us across the desert while trying not to fall off and be swept away by the wind. The sound is reminiscent of a disastrous avalanche wiping out a forest. Villeneuve and his VFX team were not short on imagination when creating these incredible figures.  

The film is a working machine of moving parts that keep you guessing what’s to come next. Will Paul betray his own kind and give into the belief that he is “the one”? Will he and Chani solidify their relationship as more than just acquaintances? What does the end of the spice world look like?  

These are all questions that will plague your mind after watching this new installment of the classic film. Director Denis Villeneuve has made it clear he wants audience members to feel captured by the magnificent world of “Dune” along with the trepidation of not knowing what’s to come next. 

Film poster for “Dune: Part Two”. Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.

Featured image caption: Timothée Chalamet in “Dune: Part Two.” Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.