Close-up of Timothee Chalamet with his breathing tube in Dune: Part Two | Agents of Fandom

‘Dune: Part Two’ Review: Chalamet Ascends in Denis Villeneuve’s Magnum Opus

Arrakis is even more alive and dangerous in the highly anticipated sequel to the 2021 sci-fi epic.

Acclaimed director Denis Villeneuve has accomplished the unthinkable with his latest work, Dune: Part Two. As someone who considers myself a passionate fan of the Dune franchise, my expectations for this movie could not have been higher. When I walked out of the theater, it took me 10-15 minutes to come to terms with what I had just watched. But, I can confidently say in my 20+ years of watching movies, I’ve never left a theater feeling quite like I did after Dune: Part Two.

A perfect sequel has to do a few things: Effectively expand on the preestablished lore, introduce new characters while further developing existing ones, and raise the stakes without sacrificing anything from the heart of the story. Dune: Part Two accomplishes all of this and more, delivering a sequel for the ages, one of the best theatrical experiences ever, and a film primed to bring home some serious hardware during awards season in 2025.

‘Dune: Part Two’ Elicits Visceral Emotion Through Powerful Sound and Writing

A close up still of Zendaya in Dune: Part Two | Agents of Fandom
Zendaya has a smaller role than many were expecting in the original, but she is prominently featured in the sequel and takes advantage of every second of screen time. Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Dune: Part One does a lot of work establishing the world and the great houses that reside within it, and Dune: Part Two fully expects the viewer to come prepared and refreshed on the events of the original. Within a nearly three-hour runtime, everything is crucial and feeds into the story, some very directly and others much more nuanced. However, because the main narrative follows a singular path — the quest for power on Arrakis — whether it’s the Harkonnens or the Fremen pushing the story forward, it’s equally captivating.

The entirety of this movie is genuinely great, but the third act is where Denis Villeneuve cranks everything up to 11. The original score from returning composer Hans Zimmer is used much more passively in the first two acts until it becomes one of the driving forces behind the action and emotion. Couple this with the sound design which quakes the walls of the theater and the final product will shake every person in the audience to the core of their being.

Villeneuve and Jon Spaihts‘ writing prowess is on full display with the development of Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) from a young boy who doubts his abilities into a powerful leader. The story navigates a web of prophecy that pits believers and nonbelievers against each other, forcing Paul to be the connective tissue and take responsibility for more than just himself. There are rich themes of doubt, betrayal, love, and trust all at play, and it’s thanks to the cast that these elements bleed together so effortlessly.

The Performances Transcend the Boundaries of Greatness

A close up still of Rebecca Ferguson in Dune: Part Two | Agents of Fandom
Rebecca Ferguson steps into a much more powerful role and delivers one of the strongest performances of her career in Dune: Part Two. Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Great writing, sound, and production design can only carry a film so far without talented stars to bring it across the finish line, and Dune: Part Two has the cast to do just that. Rebecca Ferguson is one of the many highlights; her role in the first film is almost strictly additive to Paul or Leto (Oscar Isaac), but this is no longer the case. Lady Jessica steps out of her son’s shadow and showcases the limitless reach of her power, which includes bending anyone to her will instantly.

Her performance is so forceful that, at times, it’s hard to discern whether her use of the Voice is directed toward characters in the film or the audience. When she speaks, her words demand your attention. Ferguson is incapable of turning in a bad performance, but her work in Dune: Part Two surpasses even the best of her previous roles.

Several new faces also give noteworthy performances, including but not limited to Florence Pugh and Austin Butler. Pugh plays Princess Irulan with a reluctant hesitation alongside a deep desire for power and knowledge. Butler, on the other hand, is exactly as described by Irulan in the film, “Feyd-Rautha? He’s psychotic.” Rautha is an unhinged, unstable, and mortifying presence that evokes a visceral level of terror. There are several scenes in which the fear he generates is so palpable, that it feels as if he’s walking the aisles of the theater with blades in hand.

However, the true star is Timothée Chalamet, who gives the performance of a lifetime down the final stretch of Dune: Part Two. When Paul Atreides stops running from his identity and embraces his power, Chalamet taps into a primal and commanding part of himself that is completely absent in the first film. He dominates every inch of the screen while sharing it with countless other A-listers. If Chalamet doesn’t receive a Best Actor nomination, it will be one of the biggest Oscar snubs ever.

The Best Movie of 2024 Will Have To Go Through ‘Dune: Part Two’

A close up still of Timothée Chalamet wearing a hood in Dune: Part Two | Agents of Fandom
Chalamet’s performance in the final act sets him up for one of the most compelling roles in movie history in Dune: Messiah. Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

It’s far too early in 2024 to deem anything as the “best movie of the year,” but whichever film is interested in that title must surpass the quality of Dune: Part Two. Director Denis Villeneuve and every member of the talented cast show incredible dedication to their craft at each turn in this movie. In a year that will see heavy fallout from the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, Warner Bros. has found its first major success of 2024.

Follow the Agents of Fandom socials for all the latest entertainment news and reviews.

'Dune: Part Two' Review

'Dune: Part Two' Review
5 5 0 1
5.0 rating
Total Score

The Good

  • The visuals and sound are stunning.
  • Rich themes that tie into the story beautifully.
  • Some of the best performances of all time.

The Bad

  • Didn't want it to end as the third act was winding down.
Leave a Reply
Previous Article
Steven Yeun as Invincible pointing at J.K. Simmons as Omni Man | Agents of Fandom

‘Invincible’ Season 1 Recap: What To Remember Before Season 2

Next Article
Tanjiro Kamado slices a demon with a flaming sword as the Hashira and other Demon Slayer Corps members stand ready for battle | Agents of Fandom

‘Demon Slayer: To the Hashira Training’ Turns the Tide for the Series

Related Posts