Dune: Part Two Delivers A Blockbuster Extravaganza

After delays caused by the actor and writer strikes, “Dune: Part Two” has arrived and delivers the epic blockbuster extravaganza that audiences have waited for.

Picking up where the previous film left off, Paul (Timothée Chalamet), struggles to find a balance between his desire for revenge and the perception amongst some of the nomadic Freman that he is the messiah that they have long awaited. The political wheel is always turning fueled by the need for the Spice which is only found on Dune and the brutal Harkonnen family will stop at nothing to ensure the successful and very lucrative collection goes without a hitch.

Paul and the Freman conduct raids upon the Harkonnen infrastructure that reduce the production of Spice and increase the brutality and determination of the Harkonnen to eliminate the threat. This leads them to bring in Feyd (Austin Butler); who is a brutal psychopath and a favorite of the Baron. Feyd’s brutal ways soon get results. Paul and his love Chandi (Zendaya), grow closer but she becomes concerned with his visions and his increasing profile as a messiah and they soon disagree over the path forward as Paul takes his steps towards a bigger destiny and his ultimate revenge.

This is where my conflict with the film arises. It is undoubtedly an epic spectacle and achievement filled with lavish visuals, a compelling story, and great performances. My issue is that as someone who has read the books; I do not agree with the great liberties taken with the story in the final third of the film. While there are elements of the books, some events have been changed, omitted, or re-written to create a new ending that pretty much sets up a new film but takes it beyond the scope of the pages of the next book. For me that came across as more self-indulgent versus enhancing the story. The original story was fine as it was and did not need the changes that were made. This was beyond the expanded role Duncan Idaho (Jason Momoa) was given in the film but rather the wholesale changes and omissions that detracted from the original storyline and kept the film from being as fully satisfying as I hoped.

That being said; the film is a triumph as long as you can tolerate the deviations from the source material. If you are not as familiar with the books, then you will find this modern classic a great watch and one not to miss.

4.5 stars out of 5

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