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The Pharcyte

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The Pharcyte


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PharReview: Dune 2


After quietly coming on to the
scene in 2021, the sequel to Frank Herbert’s novel Dune is back in theaters. Loaded with more action and drama than the first film, Dune: Part Two scored a 93% Rotten Tomatoes rating.

Dune is set roughly 20,000 years from now. In this future, humans have colonized planets all over the universe. There is a feudal interstellar society of various noble houses that control planetary fiefs. Part one leaves off with Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet) and his mother Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) having just been accepted into the Fremen, the native group of Arrakis. Paul is still hoping to avenge his father, who was caught in the crosshairs of the fight for ultimate universal power. Little does Paul know that he is the long-lost messiah of the Fremen, the Lisan al-Gaib.

Throughout the film, Paul must balance this desire to avenge his father, while also bearing the burden of being the Fremen’s savior. Paul finds love in Chani (Zendaya), a member of the Fremen, making his decisions later on in the movie that much more
difficult. Paul also must compete against Feyd Rautha-Harkonnen (Austin Butler), the nephew of the film’s main antagonist, Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgard).

Dune: Part 2 was the perfect movie to see in theaters. The pictures lit up the room and the sounds made the seats shake. A lot is going on throughout the film, which makes it overwhelming at times. But at the same time, it is all so well-crafted. The scenes of the different planets make it seem like a whole new universe.

Some of the best parts of the movie take place on Giedi Prime, the Harkonnen home planet. The arena fight with Feyd was almost entirely in black and white, instilling a sense of dread in the viewers. Apparently, these scenes were shot with infrared cameras–a great touch by cinematographer Greig Fraser.

The fight scenes were very intriguing after there was a lack of conflict in the first film. The Fremen ambushes on Harkonnen spice vessels and Paul and Feyd’s fight were a few of the highlights. There is also significant character development for both Lady Jessica and Chani, which ultimately turns them into significantly more important characters.

The ending is where things are not as enjoyable. Paul and the Fremen make quick work of what is supposed to be a formidable Imperial army, and much of the actual fighting occurs off-screen. It feels rushed, but maybe that is why the movie did not reach the four-hour mark. The ending is as abrupt in the book, so it might be a Frank Herbert problem more than a Dennis Villineuve problem.

Feyd is such a great, dark character, yet his role in the film is limited to the second half. Not to mention his fight with Paul is fairly anti-climatic, considering how good of a fighter everyone made him out to be. This fight scene is still fun to watch, but it should not have been their only encounter.

Selecting Christopher Walken as the Emperor was also a puzzling move, even though he got quite literally no screen time for being such an influential character. This is nothing against Walken, as he is a legendary actor and has been for years, but he is not the right person for this role. It almost feels like the producers were more concerned with having a star-studded cast than actually picking the best actors for the roles.

Besides a few minor issues, Dune: Part Two is truly a piece of cinematographic art. Part three should come out within the next few years to wrap up the trilogy, which everyone will be impatiently waiting for. This feels like the new Star Wars, so why not get excited about it?

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About the Contributor
Joey Tomassetti
Joey Tomassetti, Editor-in-Chief
Joey is a senior and is an Edtior-in-Chief of The Pharcyde. He has been a part of the paper for three years. He is a member of three varsity sports teams: cross country, basketball, and track. He is also a member of the Veteran's Appreciation Club and the Sports Analytics Club. In his free time, Joey enjoys spending time with his family and friends, watching sports, and going to the beach.

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