Dune: Part Two is fine

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2024/03/07/dune-part-two-is-fine.html


Heard and will do!

To be fair, Zone of Interest also had Dune style BWAAAAs in it and they were very loud! I mean I love Micah Levy but the language of cinema sound design crossing over with music is dominated by Herr Zimmer’s approach. Which is a pity.

But at least it’s not fucking John Fucking Williams. Which is a mercy.


I rate it as being better than the first Dune movie, though i can’t say that either Dune movie i would consider as a “favorite” when discussing movies that i love but i did enjoy it. The major complaint that i have is that big conflict at the end seemingly resolves itself a bit too quickly and neatly in a way that makes it feel too easy, makes the whole stakes for the film seem pretty trivial. This was likely done for time so i get it but could’ve been shot differently. Also didn’t love who they cast as the Emperor, it really distracted me every time they spoke.

Still for me this is a B+


If you need a palate cleanser:


I’ve never understood the desire to declare something “not art.” I hear all of the very valid criticisms of this and other blockbusters (or video games, or pop music), and want to engage with them, but then the reviewer goes and tacks on this idea that the production isn’t really art because it was, I dunno, made collectively? Or made to make money?

Whatever. There’s lots of things I don’t like that are still art. Outlaw country music. Horror movies. It’s all not for me and it’s all art. I’m not going to try to delegitimize it.


But bring ear plugs.

I endorse this. (I have heavy-duty “concert” ones, and they were barely enough but I was at an IMAX so I only have myself to blame.)
I do think it was worth it though. For me, the best part is that Villeneuve (and his collaborators) clearly want to do the whole story, because Dune Messiah is at least as important, and a lot of the storytelling going on in these first two is clearly meant to be paid off in “part three”. One of the benefits of basing a story on something that is finished; Herbert himself clearly had some idea of where he was going but the joins are more visible. Anyway, we shall see (hah!)


I agree with most of this. The film is mostly set on Arrakis with a brief glimpse of the Harkonnen homeworld. There are no space scenes at all, in fact, there are no Navigators. Why?. A strange omission when you consider it’s the spice on Arrakis that enables space travel over vast distances. The control of the spice that is the major plotline. Not showing any of this has the paradoxical effect of making the film seem small scale when it should be vast. We see the emporer on his homeworld, then he is on Arrakis. Nothing in between. Yet this is supposed to be a galactic empire. The other problem is the pacing. It’s far to fast. I know they are trying to condense a lot of book into a two and a half hour film. The ending is ridiculously abrupt although it’s obvious there is a third film in the works. Lynch’s version is pilloried a lot but it did occasional have a sense of alien strangeness. This version has none of that.
The design and FX are top class. This version of Baron Harkonnen was a huge improvement over the Lynch version. In Lynch’s movie he is a pantomime character, he has more malevolence in this movie. But the Harkonnens are given very little screen time in this and their ends are almost an afterthought. (I am unable to see Fued Rutha as Matt Lucas).
It doesn’t help that the whole story is one we have seen many times before.
There are two highlights that were interesting, Paul’s mother going ‘full Bene Gesserit’ and Paul becoming a tyrant rather than a benign messiah. The best line in the film “It’s the prophecy that enslaves us”. That points to more interesting possiblilities for future films.
As it is this is a good solid film making but there sin’t much that is particularly special about it.
Oh, and yes, music TOO loud! Chris Nolan disease…


I’m sure this review is fine for what it is, it’s just “not for me”. Not sure why I feel the need to comment on it.


Headline: “‘Dune: Part Two is fine’ is fine”


Yeah, this review doesn’t feel like substative criticism of the movie on its own terms, more like “this movie is beneath me, and here’s why.” Kinda gross.


I agree. This always comes across as a lot of “the lady doth protest too much”. Oh, I’m high-brow and my opinion is important because I recognize this is NOT art but just made to be enjoyed.

Yes, I’m being grumpy, but this type of “I have higher taste than you” criticism has always rubbed me the wrong way. Tell me what you liked and didn’t like, don’t try to justify your taste to me.


IIRC that’s very much in line with the source material. The appearance of a Navigator was one of the most memorable scenes from the 1984 version of the movie but I don’t think any actually show up in the story until at least the second book. It was just a good excuse for David Lynch to add some crazy visuals.


I will say that we went to one of the fancier theaters options in the location we went to (the “premium experience”) because the time worked better for us and I feel like the sound was better/more balanced. Like you could hear the whispers without getting eardrums destroyed by the explosions. I’m not sure it’s worth the ticket upcharge really but it’s good to know that there is something different there.


Yeah, I think most of the complaints I’ve seen about the sound are probably hardware issues, not software issues. I saw it at a Cinemark theater in MD, and had brought earplugs just in case, but found that the sound was at a reasonable level, well-mixed, and perfectly intelligible.


actually, there also no navigators in the first book, only guild members, but I get your point all to well; I was pretty annoyed near the end as paul ordered the possible destruction of the spice fields as a threat…with nukes, no less, which is just stupid and makes no sense. in the book, he plans to destroy the spice with changed water-of-life thrown into pre-spice-mass fields which would create a chain reaction, killing all the worms. no spice mythologie and why it is essentential for the empire (just a throwaway line in part one), no “the spice must flow”, none of that. threw me completly out of the film.

Oh, and yes, music TOO loud! Chris Nolan disease…

villeneuve is friends with nolan. bad influence, I would say.


I agree about the sound. And the BWAAAA.

“Hans Zimmer’s score doesn’t allow pause in one of the only silent terrains on this (and other) good earth(s).”

Can you imagine how goood it would have been to use silence.

Sigh. Dune 2 just fell short for me. Part 1 was a good retelling, and had some improvements over the Lych version.This didn’t really. It really felt like “here are some pew pew pew in the desert and some BWAAAAA to keep you still while we work on part three”


But isn’t that exactly how it works :wink:


For a writer who penned an epic space opera about galactic conquest Herbert seemed remarkably uninterested in the specifics of space travel.


Not all sci-fi writers need to be interested in the same things. He had a greater interest in things like religion and colonialism, and resistance to that. :woman_shrugging:


Which is why the Freemen had over three hundred words for “sand” but none for “dynamic graviton field generator.”