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Student news of The Woodlands High School

The Caledonian

The Student News Site of The Woodlands High School
Student news of The Woodlands High School

The Caledonian

“Dune Part Two” a movie marvel


“Dune Part Two” is a theatrical spectacle like no other, bringing true talent from all aspects of the film.

In the waning days before I went to the theater, all I could see online was “this is our generations ‘Two Towers’” and “it’s better than the ‘Godfather Part II’”. For those days all I could think of is how dumb those statements were. I mean how could a movie, especially nowadays, be as good as those films?

Then I watched the movie. From the minute the film began, to the last bit of credits, I was in absolute awe at the film I had seen.

An awe-striking sequel made up of the continuously great cinematography, incredible writing, fantastic acting, and the delicious score. All of these components help maintain and improve on the first film and its convoluted, yet addictive story.

The story itself is a direct follow up to the ending of “Dune”, House Atreides has been completely wiped out on Arrakis, and House Harkonnen continues to terrorize the planet. With Paul Atreides and his mother, Lady Jessica, on the run with the Fremen people, they plot to cause an uprising and take back the planet and destroy House Harkonnen.

I must admit I wasn’t terribly intrigued by the overall story of “Dune”, and I actually found the first film to be badly paced. However, with this film being “Part Two”, both films are able to compliment each other incredibly well. So much in fact that neither could be watched alone.

It is similar to each “Star Wars” trilogy, which is ironic due to the inspiration the “Dune” book series gave to “Star Wars” when it was first coming out in the 70s.

Other “Star Wars” comparisons definitely go towards the main character himself, Paul Atreides played by Timothy Chalamet.

Paul Atreides is the Anakin-type of the story, with a very similar turn to darkness by the end of his journey. After being plagued with visions of the future, showing him leading an army in a holy war fought in his name. A war that leads to the death of billions across the galaxy. The last thing Paul wants to happen is the death of billions, but he still believes it should happen to have peace. After being claimed to be the Lisan al Gaib, the profited leader and savior of the universe, it makes his holy war destiny all the more unavoidable.

It brings an internal conflict that is intriguing to follow, with a very subversive outcome. For many, including me, the story of Paul from his fallen House to being the leader of thousands of fighters is incredibly compelling.

The other heroes of our story are equally as intriguing to follow, such as Zendaya’s Chani, the Freman fighter and love interest of Paul. Her character is still relatively new in the sequel, so fortunately she’s not just Paul’s lover for the sake of quick development. She is Freman, and unlike many of the others, she doesn’t believe in waging a holy war. Instead she wishes to see the enemy put in their place, without anyone, even Paul, having an ascension to galaxy wide power.

It brings an exciting foil to Paul’s character, who as the film goes on, believes more and more in his destiny. All the while Chani is being more and more cynical towards the Lisan al Gaib prophecy, even claiming it to enslave the Fremen.

Both her story and Paul’s culminate into a heart-wrenching plot, sure to pack an emotional punch by the film’s end.

There are other notable freedom fighters by Paul’s side including Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck, Paul’s uncle who is set out for total revenge on the Harkonnens. Alongside Paul is his Freman mentor and friend, Stillgar played by Javier Bardem. Both bring companionship and strength to Paul in his journey towards becoming the Lisan al Gaib.

Stillgar specifically brings almost a comedic tone to the film, but together they both also encapsulate what Chani criticizes greatly: The blind loyalty and worship towards Paul’s destiny.

The film has its fair share of villains in the mix too.

The Harkonnens are played by a stellar returning and new cast, Stellan Skarsgård as the Baron, Dave Baustista as Glossu Rabban, and newcomer Austin Butler as the psychotic Feyd-Rautha.

I was most impressed by Butler’s performance. He did not have the greatest amount of screen time, but he left his own insane impression on the film.

Unlike Butler, Christopher Walken who portrays the Emperor, is not given nearly enough to do in the film. He had all the opportunity to be as menacing and entertaining a villain as Butler was. Notedly, this is also his first appearance in the films, so perhaps there’s more to him in the next film.

Then there is Lady Jessica, Paul’s mother, played by Rebecca Ferguson. She’s on his side and the side of the Fremen, but it is clearly only for her, Paul’s, and her unborn daughter’s own interests. With her actions in the film, you understand that her interests are villainous whether it is intentional or not.

The “Dune” galaxy is its own character itself. We spend the bulk of the film on the barren, but rich desert planet Arrakis. The land is dry, but the atmosphere is alive, providing ginormous sand worms, spice field harvesting, and the mystical powers that come from it.

Then there is the Harkonnens home planet, Giedi Prime, which is Rome in black and white. There is a black sun that makes everything outside completely black and white, making some great imagery, especially in the colosseum fight scene.

To complement the visuals is the breathtaking cinematography. Every frame looks incredible, bringing life to the film like no other movie has done in years.

It is also worth noting that there does happen to be a great deal of practical effects and CGI used. However, they don’t contradict each other, and it keeps the world immersive without being conflicting.

While the visuals are breathtaking and make the film look majestic, it is the score that truly sends you to the “Dune” galaxy.

The score, provided by Hans Zimmer, transcends the viewer into the film. Without much needed convincing, it is a score that makes riding giant desert worms look cool, that could make someone want to live in desert wasteland, or to partake in thrilling battles.

I found the theme “A Time of Quiet Between the Storms” from the soundtrack to be mesmerizing on its own. It brings the magic of Arrakis’ deserts and heart from the story all together in a perfect theme.

The whole film is a culmination of perfect cinema, and it’s about time the theaters got its due with a great big budget sci-fi movie.

It juggles being a continuation of the adaptation’s convoluted story, while maintaining an intellectual and thorough plot.

A plot that is perfect in its tragic storytelling. Showing the rise to power of Paul, who wanted peace, while simultaneously wreaking havoc and chaos. He dooms hell across the galaxy he wishes to save.

What the film tackles in bringing its two parts into perfect balance is unlike any other film has done in recent years. To call it this generation’s “Star Wars” or “Lord of the Rings” is exactly what it is. It isn’t overrated in the slightest, in fact it will be the type of film fans and film buffs will pray to have it put back into IMAX as years go by.

“Dune Part Two” is out now in theaters everywhere. Starring Timothy Chalamet, Zendaya, Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Javier Bardem, and Christopher Walken.

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