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“Dune: Part Two” Is Bigger, Better, and Sandier

“Dune: Part Two” Is Bigger, Better, and Sandier

The second installment of Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation is a triumphant—and tragic—look at the cost of power. Niko Tavernise / Warner Bros. Pictures February 28, 2024, 9:44 AM ET Paul Atreides, the central figure of the Dune series, is a very special boy. This is something the audience is told over and over, both in Frank Herbert’s first, totemic sci-fi novel and the Denis Villeneuve film adaptations that bifurcate its intricate narrative into two sand-swept epics. The first installment of Dune was all about Paul’s potential, surrounding him with vague prophecies of his future as an almighty conqueror while making him a refugee on the hostile planet Arrakis. Dune: Part Two sees that potential realized, transforming Paul from a stranger in a strange land into its messianic ruler. This journey is appropriately triumphant—and, just as important, tragic and terrifying. That’s what Villeneuve has consistently understood about Herbert’s books, which prior adaptations of Dune struggled to surface. Dune does follow a typical hero’s quest, with Paul surviving against all odds to become a great warrior and exact …