Dune 2– An Epic of Epic Proportions

Dune 2– An Epic of Epic Proportions February 29, 2024

It’s a rarity when I movie gets a do over, but Dune is one such movie.  Perhaps you know the original film with Sting and Patrick Stewart from 1984, but it was a one off without sequels, whereas this version from the hands of Denis Villeneuve is not finished, even after two huge episodes, but then the original novels by Frank Herbert in 1964-66 were a series as well.  Herbert, who died in the 80s, I think would approve of this remarkable adaptation.   It is interesting that the director decided not to introduce all the major characters in the first  2 hour 35 minute film, for instance Josh Brolin and Christopher Walken (as the Emperor no less) show up in Dune 2, which is even longer than the first installment (2 hours and 45 minutes).    The stars in both films are young, but well known for starring in other films, for instance in Spiderman– Zendaya, and Timothy Chalamet, for instance Interstellar and most recently the Christmas movie Wonka.

This movie could have jokingly been called sand dune as it is mostly filmed in Wadi Rum in Jordan, which indeed has spectacular sand dunes.  I love Jordan. Interestingly, the battle scenes were someone filmed in Altivole Italy (the tomb scenes), and also Abu Dhabi.  The cinematography is simply spectacular, especially the desert scenes, including the ones with the giant worms.

Since this is not a stand alone film, if one has not read the novels, nor seen the first Dune film in this series, I really don’t recommend you go to Part Two before you’ve seen the first one or done some homework.  A few fast facts– this story is set in the year 10,000 A.D.  And it involves various dynastic families including the family of Paul Atreides. Here’s the official summary of the new film….”Paul Atreides (Chalamet) unites with Chani (Zendaya) and the Fremen while seeking revenge against the conspirators who destroyed his family. Facing a choice between the love of his life and the fate of the universe, he must prevent a terrible future only he can foresee.”

What strikes me most about this film is not the erstwhile love story between the main characters that happens in the midst of this ongoing war setting, but how very much religion, prophecy, and faith are central to the story.  There are characters that are skeptical about prophecy and religion, but most of them are not, and some are religious fanatics (which is critiqued at points in the film).   This film may be set in the distant future, but human beings are still remarkably religious in various forms.  In fact, Paul plays the role of being the long promised messiah who has come to deliver the people in particular the Fremen, and to vindicte the Atreides clan over again the Harkonen.   But the relationship between those two main families is complex, as they are in fact inter-related.

I don’t have any doubt this will be one of the most praised and nominated films of the year, and it doesn’t lack for spectacular scenes and action. But don’t get too excited about the third in this series, as it is likely some years off.

Browse Our Archives