Dune: Part Two

Certificate: 12A

Starring: Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Javier Bardem, Austin Butler, Florence Pugh

Release date: 2024

4 out of 5


Three years after director Denis Villeneuve delivered the visually-stunning (but often bum-numbingly slow) sci-fi drama Dune comes this second instalment that picks up the story of possible saviour Paul Atreides (Chalamet, given much more to do as the reluctant hero), who we last saw wandering the deserts of the planet Arakis with Chani (Zendaya) and the native Fremen.

There’s no real recap of the events of the first movie aside from a brief voiceover from Florence Pugh’s hew character Princess Irulan, so try and remember what happened (much of it is to do with various Houses fighting over the prized commodity Spice) as Villeneuve dives straight into the adventure, delivering more story, more action and more intrigue in the first hour than in the whole length of the first movie.

That’s great news for younger viewers – though this is still likely to be too heavy and sprawlingly epic for pre-teens – and grown-ups, and Villeneuve has also added a much-needed bit of humour in the form of Bardem’s Fremen leader Stilgar, who takes every little thing Paul does as a sign that he is the prophet the Fremen have been waiting centuries for.

This well-paced sequel has Paul seeking revenge on the evil Harkonnens and his pregnant mother Lady Jessica (Ferguson) embracing the religion of the Bene Gesserit (which leads to her spookily communicating with her unborn baby), while Paul’s love interest Chani looks on grumpily at every plot development.

More entertaining is the arrival of Harkonnen evil dude Feyd-Rautha (a bald Austin Butler, whose performance is the high point of the movie), an inhumane, grim and utterly mesmerising baddie who lurks about in a stark, black and white world of death and gloom.

Of course, with Villeneuve at the helm, it’s not just the plot (based, of course, on Frank Herbert’s epic sci-fi bestseller) that is important, it’s the visuals, and while much takes place on the barren, sandy Arrakis where everything appears dusty and terracotta, there are some stunning set pieces to enjoy, from Paul’s first ride on a sandworm, to a gladiator-style arena battle, and an early attack featuring Harkonnen fighters who zoom threateningly through into the air.

A lot of ground is covered in this sequel – which explains the nearly three hour runtime – but by the looks of things, Villeneuve isn’t through with House Atreides just yet as (spoiler warning) the ending leaves much to be resolved, suggesting a third movie is on the dusty horizon.

Is Dune: Part Two suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...

This is a 12A certificate and features violent battles, fight sequences and moments of threat. Little blood, however, is shown.


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