Dune: Part Two is a monumental cinematic messiah (review)

Dune: Part Two is a monumental cinematic messiah (review)

After a mystical and atmospheric first part, Denis Villeneuve brings out the heavy artillery with this second part. And confirms that he is indeed Ridley Scott’s most beautiful heir.

Genocide: the word, as befits its radioactive nature, is everywhere in the air. That of our real world. And he keeps coming back in Dune: Part Two. Paul Atreides finally sees the future thanks to his powers, and he knows that if he agrees to become the messiah of the Fremen, he will have to give the order to commit the greatest genocide ever seen. And that scares him. And Chani, the love of her life, scares her too – she knows that he is a false messiah, a phony Chosen One, a new oppressor who will only be massacres and genocides. Genocide, genocide, the word is repeated – while that of “jihad”, present in Frank Herbert’s book, has been carefully erased from the films of Denis Villeneuve. Too much connotation, while the term “fedaykin” to describe elite Fremen warriors is still there. We wouldn’t want to take Dune 2 in the field of current events that are too present and too dangerous to get away with it without injury, but it is like this: in Dune: Part Two, everything revolves around genocide. The word becomes mythological there. Images of future massacres, and all Dune 2 moreover, evoke one of the most terrifying, most beautiful and most striking images – at the same time as one of the most ignored – of science fiction cinema of recent years: the flashback of the extra-terrestrial genocide ofAlien: Covenant of Ridley Scott. Watch this, and dare to tell us that it doesn’t look like pre-Dune :

It’s also impossible not to think of Gladiator seeing Feyd-Rautha (Austin Butler, as charismatic as you imagine) massacre prisoners in a huge harkonnen arena. Impossible not to think of Kingdom of Heaven (a reply even slipped into Dune 2 : “the world made choices for us”which echoes “the world always decides” of the Scottian magnum opus on the Crusades) in front of the great dance of religion and violence which spreads across the screen. We can play Scottian bingo for a long time in front Dune: Part Two. And that’s normal. Padawan by Ridley Scott (who almost made Dune in the early 1980s), Villeneuve borrowed from his master his overwhelming pubard aesthetic and his profoundly agnostic discourse. The contrast is there. Where the first Dune, an exhibition and set-up film, relied above all on a perfectly hovering effect of scale (the close-up on Chalamet’s face was matched by an immense shot of brutalist spaceships), there is only one more only scale in this Second part. There is vertigo in there, of course: immense machines, colossal arenas, infinite dunes – but everything takes place in a small corner of desert from which we will only really take off at the very end, to escape from it. go and commit endless genocides.

All right, Dune: Part Two will serve as an all-you-can-eat buffet for haters of the first film, and of Villeneuve in general, as the director continues to develop his style – ornithopters filmed like Apache helicopters, elite warriors undermined like Spec Ops, to the sound of Zimmer’s ambient/epic score – but impossible to not seeing that the filmmaker has indeed accomplished his transformation by becoming the most perfect disciple of the director of Blade Runner. Dune 2 could also be considered from many other angles – how Timothée Chalamet And Zendaya become real movie stars for good, him after Wonkashe after Spiderman, to name only the most obvious – but the fact is that the real star of the film is the filmmaker himself: how he managed to put his name as high as his blockbuster, easily knocking out all the end of series sales from the big studios. This is how Dune 2 is best considered, in any case. After its (almost) three hours of film, Dune: Part Two becomes, likeOppenheimer last year, an immense piece of cinema thought out and invested in, super exciting, a film truly directed by a vision – these formulas may seem hollow to you but in these times when the Hollywood blockbuster is fragmented and atomized, scattered between a thousand creators and craftsmen , seemed to prepare the advent of AI and its instantaneous works, Dune: Part Two looks like a messiah from heaven. While Sir Ridley embodies the Old Testament, Denis brandishes the New. Amen.

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