Dune is a snarling cinematic beast of jaw-dropping scale and ambition – Review | Films | Entertainment

Some films plead politely to be seen on a big screen but can have just as much impact in the intimate setting of a home cinema. Others, like Titanic, Avatar, Gravity and Oppenheimer bellow for the largest screen.

With a sound system cranked up to that sweet spot, you can feel every orchestral bassline and on-screen explosion pass like a shockwave through the cinema floor into the marrow of your bones.

Dune: Part Two is one of those snarling cinematic beasts of jaw-dropping scale and ambition. Composer Hans Zimmer’s score roars as director Denis Villeneuve delivers adrenaline-pumping set pieces that seamlessly meld digital trickery with practical effects and stunts.

Villeneuve confidently builds on the spectacle of the first part of his proposed trilogy – torn from the pages of Frank Herbert’s supposedly “unfilmable” 1965 novel – with no-expense-spared production design and breathlessly staged battle sequences. These include a perilous attempt by desert-dwelling Fremen to sabotage the spice-harvesting machinery of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgard) and his murderous kin.

The long-awaited moment Timothée Chalamet’s fugitive son summons a hulking sandworm and surfs the undulating dunes of Arrakis on the creature’s back induces a rush of blood to the head.

For all its technical virtuosity, Villeneuve’s sequel feels like it is treading water for significant periods of an indulgent 167-minute running time – something of an irony considering characters are scolded for shedding tears and squandering the sun-scorched planet’s most precious resource.

The world-building of part one was richer and narrative progression and character development sometimes get sand kicked in their faces. Chalamet’s romance with Zendaya’s spunky Fremen warrior simmers before a bruising clash of blades – with Elvis star Austin Butler almost unrecognisable and oozing menace as the sociopathic heir to the Harkonnen throne.

There will be blood…



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