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Dune Part Two

So I just watched Dune Part Two

It made me sad.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED it, it was amazing – Denis Villeneuve did a masterful job of capturing the essence of the book, the cinematography was gorgeous, the script was masterful, and it honours the source material in spectacular fashion.

Coming after the original Dune 1984 movie, it’s a breath of fresh air. Gone are the almost comedic, silly elements. Aside from feeling incredibly rushed, missing so much relevant material, and just feeling like a mockery of the story, well, never mind, that was it. It was garbage. The director hated it, and it was so bad it was painful – and not for one or two things, it was just a steaming pile of garbage. It’s oddly well reviewed for something so terribly offensive to the source material.

Villeneuve, sadly, ran in to one of the issues that plagued the first attempt – it’s missing so much material, so much context, and so much story. 5 hours and 15 minutes wasn’t enough time to get the story told in a satisfyingly complete manner – maybe that exonerated the original attempt a little, Lynch had two hours to tell a 9 hour story, and it looked like he just gave up, didn’t even try. Baron Harkonnen wasn’t a floating joke covered in festering sores, Paul was the right age. It didn’t feel like a speed run through a carnival funhouse or a freak show.

I’m glad Villeneuve didn’t disgrace the material, and I’m thrilled he did it justice, but based on what I watched, it’s missing so much – it should have been 3 movies, not two. I suppose with the whole Covid situation, and not being sure he was even going to get to make Part 2, I can understand why he condensed it so much – given we have a 2 hour and 30 minute movie for Part 1, and a 2 hour and 45 minute film for Part 2, it’s not like he had room for anything else in either film.

Regardless, I’m a fan – what it IS is incredible. It’s what’s missing that makes me sad. I wanted more.

I guess that’s the curse of hollywood. What should have been, probably couldn’t have happened.

I’d give it 4.5 stars out of 5. If the story was complete, it’d be an easy 5 star film. Also, it would be longer than The Lord of the Rings. And it’d be worth watching.

Missing so much of Paul and Chani’s story was a part of it. A story that’s integral to the books, there’s barely any allusion to it in the movies… They barely met in the first, and the story is almost completely missing from Part 2. Paul telling her he’ll love her as long as he’s alive didn’t scratch the surface, and it’s the only real line alluding to the story at all, beyond that it’s just her being mad at him – and that’s not the story. When it was getting to the end game, I was waiting for it, something, more.

Thank you to Denis for doing an incredible job making the two movies – I’d have loved to see what you could have done if you’d been given three.

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