Luis Martinez

Updated Thursday, February 22, 2024-01:41

  • Dune Review: the worm that devours cinema

  • Interview Denis Villeneuve: "There are too many Marvel movies that are nothing more than a cut and paste of others"

In the natural order of serial films, volume 2 is the good one.

Any board game fan knows this.

There is no longer a need to explain the rules or introduce the characters or waste time with the preambles of the always final battle.

Now, the action runs clean, without interruptions.

There is no beginning and, probably already waiting for the closure of the trilogy, no end.

The narrative itself disappears in the hunch of the adventure understood and extended in its most primary and genuine sense.

The story is not structured in the rigor of the three acts because theirs is the privilege of fever without any introduction or conclusion.

The Empire Strikes Back, The Godfather II, Back to the Future II


Before Sunset

(although there are doubts here) are good examples.

The best.

Of course, there are exceptions, and, of course, the exceptions may even outweigh the norm.

The second part of Dune is exactly that and is there to confirm the pleasure of pure pleasure, the certainty of wonder, the clarity of, pay attention, the dark.

Never before has a film intended for the general public dared such a challengingly ocher color palette, so vivid in its opacity.

The film abandons the palaces of the Atreides for the simple reason that there are hardly any Atriedes anymore.

Nor palaces.

All sand.

Paul Atreides is now a fugitive among the Fremen tribe faced with the question of whether or not he is the Messiah that everyone expects.

What follows is a debate about the strength of faith or, from the opposite angle, the revolutionary power of lies.

Few arguments so current.

But also a romantic drama between two desperate individuals permanently in the sun.

And furthermore,

a prodigious display of all the possibilities of cinema as a builder of realities,

as an inventor of imaginations, as a flux capacitor.

Time stopped in a distant place and, in its aridity, perfect is important.

From the first installment, I liked his taste for the mechanism.

Every attentive reader of Herbert knows that what is truly prodigious is hidden in the appendices where the author details everything from the biology that protects his planet Arrakis to each of the twists and turns of the messianic religion that animates its inhabitants.

And Villeneuve, in correspondence, applied himself with detail and taste in his approach to the abyss (few films feature as many directors' corpses as this one) to reproduce the machinery.

That is to say, what mattered then was the capacity of both literature and cinema to

convert the word not so much into a metaphor as into a simple and harsh reality.

In short, Villeneuve, worthy heir of Méliès before the Lumières, knows that what we perceive as real is real.

And even more real, what amazes us.

An image from 'Dune: Part Two'.

Now, the story runs simultaneously in a flinty contradiction through the faces of the protagonists and through the desolate landscapes of the desert planet.

Epic and poetic.

The entire effort of this chapter is to find hope among the desperate, fertility in the barren, future in a place without options.

And do it on the tiny scale of the alone and disproportionate human being in a desert that never ends.

And all of this tinted with a deep and solemn ocher that begins as a chromatic bet and ends as a state of the soul.

Villenueve understands cinema for all audiences from the subtlety of the unfathomable.

And that, in a time of divided screens, is, contradictory, revolutionary.

The camera stops at the farthest point of the sky with the same conviction as it does on the tiniest of beings (let's say a mouse).

And the sound design, not just music, by

Hans Zimmer

raises gales of dust in its wake.

The grammar of the staging oscillates with identical tension and pulse between the echoing diction of the newborn speaking to his mother from the womb of Jessica's character (Rebecca Ferguson) to the enormous Shai-Huluds (the worms) displayed as roaring kaijus galloping through moving meadows, unconscious of their divinity and power.

Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya

are confirmed as the couple that best explains to the old what the new is about.

And Javier Bardem, much more visible now, returns to demonstrate that he also, when he wants, resounds.

Let's say that, in his own way, Villenueve insists on replicating on the screen, both in form and content, each of the paradoxes that Herbert's text made his own in the mid-60s of the last century.



there was talk of a universe in crisis and with its scarce resources in the hands of energy oligopolies;

The mystifying power of religions that controlled and distributed bad information was already sensed, and the wound of ruthless colonialism was insisted upon.

But all this hunger for denunciation paradoxically coexisted with the fiery demand for a medievalizing universe governed by the saving power of blood and by tribal societies that wanted nothing to do with the Cartesian rigor of justice.

The euphoria of criticizing reality was the same as the desire to escape in the traffic of a new universe uncontaminated by that same reality.

It would seem that this new installment insists on the original paradox.

The surprise and even indignation that comes with seeing that nothing has changed and that a good part of the problems from then are still there, runs in parallel with the spectacularization of fantasy as a refuge and escape.

It is even unhealthy to enjoy the graphic and operatically ridiculous illustration of each of our weaknesses, but it works.

Villenueve promises a third part with more empire, more power and with Florence Pugh as empress.

But the good one, as you know, is both.

It is always so.

"God made Arrakis to test the believers," reads the frontispiece to



So be it.



: Denis Villeneuve.

Starring: Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Austin Butler, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Florence Pugh, Stellan Skarsgård, Christopher Walken, Dave Bautista.


: 166 minutes.


united states.