Movie Review: Dune Part Two

Back when I first watched the newest version of Dune, I was left dissatisfied for a variety of reasons. It lacked a consistent source of tension, it had too many characters, and it felt like all build up and no actual climax. I’ve since watched it two more times (once right before watching the sequel), and I believe it works better than I first gave it credit. The third time through, it was much clearer that the visions Paul keeps seeing are symbolic more than literal, and that’s something that whizzed right past me in my first watch. Knowing the characters and the plot more, I was better able to appreciate what was going on. It’s definitely a movie that gets better with repeated viewings. (Then again, I’m not sure how much of a compliment that is? If a movie starts as an 8/10 and becomes a 9 or a 10 the second or third time, then great. But if it was more of a 6 or 7 out of ten, then there’s a good chance I’d never give it another shot.

In any case, I finally watched the sequel over the weekend. As a reminder, I haven’t read the books. Yes, I know. Blasphemy. But at least you know I’m coming into the movie with no knowledge of the plot other than what I’ve picked up along the way and what I watched in the Sting Dune years ago. (Yeah . . .)

No one can accuse the second film of lacking explosive climaxes. There are tons of battles, and it’s much more of an action movie than the first. The effects continue to be incredible, and the sheer scope of the movie was impressive. It’s a very well executed film.

Despite all that, I’m still not sure how much I really loved it. A big chunk of that seems like it’s because I’m not sure how big of a fan I’d be of the source material. The way the plot resolves makes total sense, but it’s also a resolution I’m not really happy about. I get it: all movies don’t have to have happy endings, but on the whole, I prefer movies that do. Maybe it’s because I have to deal with an awful political climate every day, so sitting through an entirely different awful political climate for 2.5 hours isn’t exactly walk in the park. There’s a whole lot of bleak to the second movie, and I prefer a bit more hope.

That’s a matter of taste, however. I’ll likely watch the movie again when Tomas comes back from his mission, but I’m not sure it’ll go into my regular rotation of movie viewings. Then again, perhaps it will grow on me. Once I know not to expect certain things from the film, I might well like it more. We’ll have to see. For now, I’ll give it an 8/10. I love the fact that serious adaptations of science fiction films are coming out, and I’m hopeful to see more in the future. But this particular one wasn’t exactly for me, if that makes sense,

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