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The Charger Account

The Student News Site of Dos Pueblos High School

The Charger Account

Movie Review: Dune

Official movie poster

Dune: Part Two reached theaters on March 1, 2024 and was an immediate success. It earned an amazing $490 million in Global box office as well as extremely positive reviews, scoring a 93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

Dune: Part Two is a science fiction film directed and produced by Denis Villeneuve. The sequel to Dune (2021) follows Paul Atreides (played by Timothée Chalamet) as he unites with the Fremen people of the desert planet Arrakis to fight against the House of Harkonnen.

Here is our (Nicola Bailey and Kristian Lazcano) review of the different individual elements of the movie as well as our overall ratings.

Warning: there are SPOILERS within our reviews!

Plot (Story Arc and Plausibility)

Nicola Bailey: I watched the first Dune movie not expecting much, and I ended up really enjoying it. So, my expectations were really high for this movie, since I enjoyed the first movie a lot. However, my expectations didn’t really match the reality of what this movie was — it was still good, but the plot was somewhat hard to follow due to the density and how much the creators fit into this movie.

Kristian Lazcano: After the first Dune movie, I had heard amazing reviews regarding the sequel. With incredibly high expectations, I was disappointed to find the plot rather predictable and semi-boring at times. It felt like the classic good vs. evil action movie, with the “good guys” inevitably winning. The Fremen people, in fact, do win, but I felt that outcome was highly predictable.

Theme (Identity and Depth)

Bailey: I feel like there was a lot of depth for a sci-fi movie. A theme that commonly showed up in this movie was going against or following your destiny, with Paul having to choose what path he should walk — the one the universe is telling him to or the one he feels is right. Additionally, a major theme that shows up is colonization and how it affects people, with Chani, played by Zendaya, emphasizing many times that she doesn’t want the Fremen to be colonized and taken over by their belief in a prophecy. Overall, there were a lot of powerful messages, and, when it comes to sci-fi movies, you don’t usually see that implemented, so I really enjoyed the amount of depth in this movie.

Lazcano: When watching the movie, I felt Dune: Part Two perfectly captured two different social status groups by showcasing the struggles of the Fremen people who are living within poor desert conditions, and, in contradiction, the Harkonnen who were thriving in life.

Acting (Characters and Performance)

Bailey: The level of acting in this movie varied and often depended on the actor. Sometimes, an actor would absolutely astound me in ways I wasn’t expecting. For example, the scenes with Lady Jessica (played by Rebecca Ferguson) were really powerful to watch. Other times, I would feel like some actors weren’t fully in character, or I felt as if I was just watching someone try to act instead of actually watching a character in a movie. For example, sometimes it would feel like Paul didn’t fit in with the rest of the characters and like he was disconnected from the world around him. However, this could also be an issue with the script, as his dialogue did not always seem to fit the mood of the dialogue of other characters. However, Florence Pugh as Princess Irulan absolutely blew me away, and I would genuinely watch the third installment of this series just for her.

Lazcano: For the most part, the acting was consistently disappointing throughout the movie. There were moments where I felt Chalamet was being himself rather than his character, Paul Atreides. It was most notable when it came to interactions with his love interest, Chani.Through the movie, we can see the two characters Paul and Chani develop an intimate relationship. However, the “chemistry” factor between the two actors was more platonic than romantic and just didn’t give the sense that their characters were actually in love.

Cinematography (Visual Language, Lighting, Setting, and Wardrobe)

Bailey: Genuinely, this movie was actually beautiful when it comes to cinematography. I liked the lighting for the second movie much more than the lighting for the first movie, with the second movie implementing brighter and warmer lighting. Additionally, in terms of the cinematography, the scene with Paul riding his first sand worm was absolutely stunning. Overall, I loved the cinematography.

Lazcano: Throughout the movie, there were many instances where I found myself mesmerized by the beauty of the film. From beautiful desert landscape to intriguing dystopian city views, the film brought to life many aspects of the science fiction world. Most notably, the arena of Harkonnen was beautifully filmed with many intriguing camera angles.

Editing (Pace, CGI, and Effects)

Bailey: The CGI, for the most part, was incredible. There was a scene where the characters were meant to look like they were floating, and that was the only unsatisfactory part of the CGI. It really disconnected me from the movie because it was the bit of CGI I was distracted by. However, besides that, the CGI was genuinely incredible.

Lazcano: In the most recent age of movies, I have personally felt that the wow factor is missing with the CGI. However, Dune: Part Two amazed me with its CGI. Compared to the first dune movie, there was much more action in Dune: Part Two. The action sequence’s CGI was done extremely well. It didn’t have the fake factor that many recent movies have.

Soundtrack (Sound Design and Film Score)

Bailey: The soundtrack felt like it was part of the world we were in. The music blended in with the background so well that I didn’t even notice it sometimes. Therefore, I believe the soundtrack did its job of fitting in with the story, and I’d say it was good. However, due to the fact I don’t fully remember it, I can’t give an accurate review.

Lazcano: Overall, the music complimented each scene, from the action packed scenes to heart wrenching moments. The soundtrack beautifully complimented the whole film, and, at times, it sounded like we were actually a part of the science fiction world.

Overall Rating

Bailey: Overall, I really did enjoy this movie. I think that some aspects didn’t work as well as I wish they had, but the pros do outweigh the cons. I think I would give it a 7/10 – it probably won’t be the best movie I’ll see this year, but it really was quite good.

Lazcano: My overall rating for the film would be a 5/10. I think there were many aspects of the movie that compliment one another. However, the predictability and poor acting of the film really held it back. Personally, I think any viewer of the film could quickly predict the ending outcomes of Dune: Part Two, and no one wants to watch a boring movie.

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About the Contributors
Nicola Bailey
Nicola Bailey, Features Editor
Nicola Bailey (10) Loves writing and spends countless hours writing whatever comes to her mind, and loves the many formats there is to writing. “I just like writing because of the way you can communicate in so many different ways other than just speaking to someone”.
Kristian Lazcano
Kristian Lazcano, Reporter
Kristian Lazcano (10) sits with his notebook. He has been trying to write more in the past months, but has struggled . “Hopefully journalism will open my writing … spectrum a little bit,” Kristian said. “But right now I'm just … I don't want to say ‘writing nonsense’, but in a way I am.”
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