Ben Shapiro Reviews ‘Dune: Part Two’

These two movies constitute the single greatest science fiction epic movie achievement of all time.

Timothée Chalamet, Dune: Part Two. Photo by Courtesy of Warner Media - copyright Warner Media. 2024.
Photo courtesy of Warner Media. Copyright Warner Media 2024.

I just saw “Dune: Part Two.” I have many thoughts.

Let’s begin with the fact that “Dune: Part One” and “Dune: Part Two” — which encompass the whole of Frank Herbert’s original “Dune” — these two movies constitute the single greatest science fiction epic movie achievement of all time. It looks absolutely phenomenal.

The acting is top notch, the score is great, and it has probably the best visual effects I’ve ever seen on film because you don’t sense the CGI. Normally when you have this much CGI, you can really sense it. In this film, however, you really do not sense it. Throughout “Dune: Part Two,” they’re on multiple planets and they all have different color schemes, different color palettes and different looks. It’s really pretty phenomenal.

Dune: Part Two. Courtesy of Warner Media - copyright Warner Media. 2024.

Dune: Part Two. Courtesy of Warner Media – copyright Warner Media. 2024.

So let’s start from the beginning.

Spoiler alert — there will be lots of spoilers.

“Dune: Part One” ended with Paul Atreides heading off into the desert. The Harkonnen have killed his father. He and his mom, who is a member of the Bene Gesserit, end up going off into the desert to accompany the Fremen. And this is all the predicate to Timothee Chalamet’s Paul Atreides becoming the prophet foretold by both Bene Gesserit lore and, as it turns out, the lore created for the Fremen by the Bene Gesserit. 

So in the Fremen lore, there’s supposed to be this figure called the Lisan al Gaib. The Lisan al Gaib is supposed to be a figure who is going to make the planet bloom again. Apparently, sometime in the distant past it actually was a blooming paradise but now it’s all just a desert planet.

Timothée Chalamet, Dune: Part Two. Photo by Courtesy of Warner Media - copyright Warner Media. 2024.

Photo courtesy of Warner Media – copyright Warner Media. 2024.

In the Bene Gesserit lore, there’s something called the Kwisatz Haderach, who is a foretold prophet who’s going to come and rule over all the known universe in the ways that the Bene Gesserit would like. That’s the basic religious plotline.

So when we start “Dune: Part Two,” Paul Atreides is with the Fremen. It’s unclear whether he and his mom are going to be accepted by the Fremen, but the movie actually opens in a different place, which is really smart. You see the same sort of thing in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. In “The Return of the King” the movie opens with a back story about Smeagol and the idea is to set you in the universe again.

Well, the same thing happens here. Here you have Florence Pugh’s Princess Irulan reading from her diary, explaining what just happened in the last movie for those who missed it. So the idea was that the Emperor was afraid of the Atreides family, so he gave the Harkonnen family the ability to kill off all of the Atreides. But they missed Lady Jessica and they missed Paul Atreides, and now Paul is running around making trouble for the Harkonnen family and by proxy for the Emperor.

The first third of the movie is dedicated to Paul becoming Fremen, being accepted and learning the ways of the Fremen. It’s “Dances with Wolves” — he’s becoming fully engaged in the Fremen culture, everything from how to properly sand walk to how to ride a Sandworm. He’s not a Mary Sue. He’s been trained in actual combat by the top commanders in his civilization and he goes and learns combat from the Fremen as well.

Timothée Chalamet, Josh Brolin. Dune: Part Two. Photo by Courtesy of Warner Media - copyright Warner Media. 2024.

Courtesy of Warner Media – copyright Warner Media. 2024.

He also makes not-stupid decisions.

By the end of the film he’s in love with Chani, but he doesn’t stay with Chani. He understands that his only shot at becoming Kwisatz Haderach is to marry the daughter of the Emperor. Paul actually understands the strategy, and he understands that his political ambitions are going to have to come before Chani. So they get taken in and the Fremen decide that Lady Jessica is going to become the Reverend Mother of their tribe, which really helps a lot since it allows her to spread the propaganda that her son is in fact the long awaited one.

Meanwhile, Paul Atreides is really split internally as to whether he should take up the mantle of Kwisatz Haderach or whether he should basically just fight alongside the Fremen. The reason for this is he’s been having all these visions and he sees that if he becomes the leader, if he becomes Kwisatz Haderach, or if he becomes Lisan al Gaib, that he is going to cause untold suffering.

There’s one performance in the movie that the movie really relies on in a heavy way, and that is Feyd-Rautha. Feyd-Rautha is the Harkonnen nephew who is supposed to be the “big baddie” in this movie. So the second part of the film is the introduction of the big baddie. And then the third part of the film is the culmination of the battle.


I only have a couple of problems with the film.

Christopher Walken as the Emperor is weird. His appearance takes you out of it — like, Oh, hey, what are you doing here? You couldn’t find anyone else old in Hollywood? No one?

Aside from that, the only other problem with the film is that when we finally get to the final battle, it’s so unbelievably easy for Paul Atreides and his forces to just wipe out the Emperor and all of the Harkonnen forces. You wonder why they didn’t do it earlier. And this is actually projected earlier on in the film. You see Paul, who’s spending an awful lot of time with the Fremen, attacking various spice machines. And I just kept thinking to myself, the attacking weaponry is so much better than the defending weaponry, I don’t even understand why this war is a competition.

So the ease with which the last battle is fought makes it somewhat anticlimactic and so you’re wondering, how did the Harkonnens take over this entire planet? Aside from that, the movie looks spectacular.

Now, because they’re trying to play up the conflict within Paul Atreides about whether to become this prophetic figure or not, that gets turned into a broader conversation about whether religion is itself a myth or whether religion is a manipulative tool or whether religion is a reality.

Another political thing they don’t even know they’re doing — which happens a lot with Denis Villeneuve — his movies turn out to be shockingly Pro-Life. In this movie, Lady Jessica is pregnant and she is talking to the fetus during the entire movie. They show the baby in utero, like it’s not a cluster of cells but an actual character in the film.

In any case, everything is being set up for Part Three. Apparently, there is still going to be a two-to-three year delay between this movie and the next movie. So in that way it’s very much like “The Lord of the Rings.” They’re going to wait to see how this one does. It’s going to make all the money.

The best thing about Denis Villeneuve or Christopher Nolan — the best working directors today — is that they put all the money on the screen. This film cost about $190 million to make, and every dollar of it is on the screen. This movie demands to be seen in IMAX. You need the rumbling of the ships; you need the big sound; you need the deafening sound of this opera. You need all of the elements of the film. As a piece of world-building — it’s the best world-building I’ve seen since “The Lord of the Rings.” The acting is universally good.

I had a lot of critiques of Timothee Chalamet in “Dune: Part One.” Here they are somewhat alleviated. Again, I think that the biggest problem with Timothee Chalamet is that he’s just very skinny. It’s weird to say that, but if he’s supposed to be this prophetic, fiery figure, then him being this incredible fighter and weighing maybe 92 lbs soaking wet is sort of a strange thing. But does he play it well? Yes. I think he upped his game for “Dune: Part Two.”

Overall, I give it five out of five stars. This is a really good movie, very interesting.

And even if they don’t end up making “Dune: Part Three,” it will live on its own as a fulsome film experience.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Ben Shapiro Reviews ‘Dune: Part Two’