The official student news site of Norristown Area High School

The Wingspan

The official student news site of Norristown Area High School

The Wingspan

The official student news site of Norristown Area High School

The Wingspan

Major Carter Brings Experience and Inspiration to JRTOC

Recent Norristown's Finest Stories

‘Dune: Part 2’ Leads Us Back to Blockbuster Promised Land

Movie Review
Warner Brothers

The previously quiet sands of the film industry stir in accordance with a new arrival, a sequel to a COVID-era movie most thought was doomed to failure, or to never see the big screen at least. But here we have it: “Dune: Part 2” has arrived after over two years of waiting and it is not a simple blockbuster, but a city-sanctifier.  I apologize for the religious undertone in advance; those of you who have not been baptized in the glorious light of “Dune” may not understand why my soul is bound to this writing style, so let me enlighten the uninitiated to this second coming. 

“Part 2” picks up right where “Dune” left off: Paul Atreides fights an internal battle after being accepted into Freman society and weighs the promises of two paths. The Freman are split into two factions, a highly religious, almost prophetic southern tribe, and a northern tribe who believes more in themselves than any other “god” or “savior.” Due to Paul’s Bene Gesserit bloodline and an ancient plot conceived by these weird witch women, many people from the southern tribe believe that Paul is their savior, a religious figure who will bring their people to salvation and forge Arakis into a tropical paradise. However, the northerners, one of whom is played by Zendaya, are much more skeptical of the off-worlder and hold their doubts against him.

 Paul is put in a position where he must decide how to lead these people, whether he should feed into the Bene Geserit scheme and become a god, send them across the stars in a galactic war of blood and destruction in the name of peace, or side with the northerners and simply take back their home planet. All of this happens while under the growing threat of the Harkonnons, who battle the Fremen constantly and force Paul to make a decision pressured by their never-satiated empire.

As someone who’s never read Frank Herbert’s original novel series and was semi-skeptical after watching the first part, I only had faith that this next installment would be good at the very least. Now, after gazing upon this film that so graciously permitted to be seen I only have a feeling that I deserve penance for ever doubting Denis Villeneuve. 

Every actor delivers a stellar performance, from the extras to every A-list actor in the stacked cast. The large-scale battles are reminiscent of those in the ingenious Lord of the Rings film trilogy; each war cry encourages you to raise your voice too and charge in with the armies of the Lisan al’Gaib. Background characters do more than fill empty space, they draw you into the universe of “Dune” and slowly convince your mind that what it’s seeing is not just a movie, but a glimpse into a far-distant future on a desert planet. Harkonnon actors Austin Butler, Stellan Skarsgård, and David Bautista instill an element of terror that settles in your stomach each time they appear on screen. They, especially Butler, define what “weird” should look like in a feature. 

Though the guttural feeling does not stop with the Harkononns, Timothee Chalamet exhales greatness with each line he flourishes. Every soul in my theater had a visceral reaction to a majority of his lines, a collective awe, a shrieking gasp, a mystical shout that can only be achieved with the motivation of witnessing something that speaks to your soul. 

Each personality fits in the near-perfect puzzle of “Dune”. Rebecca Fergason sinks even deeper into the sand-pit of assimilation with the unnerving Lady, now Reverend Jessica. Javier Bardem transfixes the audience with his near-crazed disciple characteristics that get comical at some points, but are much welcome. Josh Brolin, Florence Pugh, and Zendeya, though filling in supporting roles in their characters, feel like their very own with interesting dynamics that keep the over two-and-a-half-hour movie rolling swimmingly.  

And the soundtrack, produced by the always astounding mind of Hans Zimmer who brought the music to “Interstellar,” “Inception,” “The Lion King,” “Blade Runner 2049,” and many other “best soundtrack” award winners, brings the heat once again with “Dune: Part 2”. Each note dances in synchronization with the stunning cinematography of Greig Fraser, every higher tone brings your conscience to the back of a sandworm traveling viciously through the Arrakian sands.  

Some might argue that the hefty runtime shackles the true beauty of the film and causes potentially ravenous viewers to lose their appetite, though I preach it does the opposite. Every scene, no matter how slow it may seem, flows the story forward; the plot and subplots are the rivers missing from Arrakis. Though for even those with attention spans as short as a desert mouse, there is still plenty to enjoy. Unlike the first installment, “Dune: Part 2” is replete with various combat scenes that reveal more of the complicated technology of the “Dune” universe and show how many grueling hours were spent on location under the scorching Arabian sun.  

“Dune: Part 2” is for those who are craving their sci-fi fix but can’t bring themselves to watch all 300 episodes of all the new Star Wars shows and spinoffs; it’s for those who are bored of Marvel’s recent failures or disappointed with delays and have a hole in their soul that can only be filled with theatrical greatness; it’s for those who wish to witness the rise of a cultural behemoth like, as previously mentioned, “The Lord of the Rings,” “Star Wars,” early Marvel, “Harry Potter,” and watch as “Dune” solidifies its place as one of the Greats. If you wish to return to your early childhood, to a kid who wishes that the world they live in could be as interesting as those in fiction, and if you want to get that fanatical feeling of whimsical love for something intangible, I urge you, watch this movie. 

Story continues below advertisement
Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Zach Zanders
Zach Zanders, Staff Writer
Zach is very interested in traveling the world, seeing new places, and meeting new people. He wants to become a movie director after high school and pursue his dream of writing fiction stories. 2022 is Zach's very first year on the Wingspan.

Comments (0)

All The Wingspan Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *