ARTS + ENTERTAINMENT

KSL Movie Show review: ‘Dune: Part Two’ is a masterclass in cinematic world-building

Mar 1, 2024, 11:59 AM | Updated: 3:04 pm

ksl movie show review host steve salles next to dune part two poster...

The larger-than-life world of "Dune: Part Two," picks up where the first part left off.

Listen live at 3:15 p.m.: Everything you need to know about “Dune: Part Two”

SALT LAKE CITY — Having a close friend fill you in on what’s left out of a film versus the source material can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, you must rely on what the filmmakers have provided for you. You know they can’t possibly include every little detail from the novel. On the other hand, sometimes those left-out details, turn out to be vital to the building of a character. Especially the main one.

So based on what director Denis Villeneuve decided to include, Dune: Part Two is a masterclass in cinematic world-building. No question about it. His visual senses draw you in immediately to both the vastness of the spectacle and then he pulls you in close for the intensity of the interrelationships or struggles of the people. It’s exceptional work.

Also of note, that in the overall story arc, this is only the middle section of this epic tale as you will see when you reach the end of Part Two and think – Wait! What happens next? Don’t leave me hanging!

I don’t think you need to worry.

Based on the financial projections for this film, Warner Bros. and Legendary Entertainment will be eager to produce the final installment.

It just depends on whether Villeneuve wants to keep going (indications are yes as a third Dune script is nearly finished). Perhaps a bigger obstacle is resigning the continuing character actors to new contracts since most have only signed up for two films. Odds are, they’ll get it done.

Dune: Part Two has Paul Atreides grow, but not onscreen

But getting back to the characters.

There’s no question these Dune films rely heavily on Timothée Chalamet’s performance as Paul Atreides.

He’s the young nobleman who has taken up the cause of the nomadic Fremen on Planet Arrakis to both fight for their liberty and to exact revenge on the conspirators that destroyed the Atreides family.

Paul has grown from a frustrated teenager to a young man in the course of these two films, but some of his growing-up experiences have been excised due to time constraints.

However, I believe they are necessary to better understand his development as a full-fledged human being. And that to me, is what is missing from this otherwise incredible Part Two.

At the end of Part One, Atreides is challenged by a Fremen warrior, Jamis, who underestimates this 15-year-old boy. He doesn’t know that Paul has already trained both physically and mentally to deal with most situations.

It’s here where he gets his first lesson in Fremen culture. They believe a swift kill is an honorable death, but the boy has been taught to spare his opponent if he yields. To the Fremen, this is an insult.

New responsibilities 

As Part Two picks up where One left off, Paul also learns that Jamis’ wife and two sons are his responsibility. That’s something that the film glosses over, but seriously molds Atreides in the way of the Fremen.

And his training has just begun. He learns how to conserve water like the locals, how to catch a ride from a sandworm (as you’ll see is no easy task) and a bunch of other cool stuff. FYI, that sandworm scene on the IMAX with that massive sound will rumble you right out of your seat.

So love as I did a vast majority of ‘Dune: Part Two,’ I felt like I didn’t really know Paul Atreides as much as my friend filled me in on, forcing me to go back to the book to see what else I missed.

DUNE: PART TWO (A-) Rated PG-13 for sequences of strong violence, some suggestive material and brief strong language. Starring Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Austin Butler and Florence Pugh. Co-written and directed by Denis Villeneuve (“Dune: Part One” “Sicario”) Filmed in Budapest, Jordan, Italy and Abu Dhabi. Running time: 2 hrs. 46 min.

The KSL Movie Show with Andy Farnsworth and Steve Salles airs Fridays on KSL NewsRadio from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Follow the show on Facebook, and join The KSL Movie Show Club for exclusive perks by texting MOVIE to 57500.

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KSL Movie Show review: ‘Dune: Part Two’ is a masterclass in cinematic world-building