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Critics call 'Dune: Part Two' a 'sci-fi masterpiece' and one of the 'greatest sequels ever'

Critics call 'Dune: Part Two' a 'sci-fi masterpiece' and one of the 'greatest sequels ever'
  • Critics are in love with "Dune: Part Two."

  • One of the few knocks they mention is that it's hard to keep up with all the new characters.

  • But one critic hailed it as "the best sci-fi epic of the century."

It's time to return to Arrakis for the much-anticipated sequel to Denis Villeneuve's 2021 epic "Dune."

For "Dune: Part Two," in theaters Friday, Villeneuve continues telling the story of Paul Atreides, played by Timothée Chalamet. Atreides is looking to avenge the death of his father from the first movie while fulfilling the ancient prophecy that an off-world prophet will bring prosperity to the planet of Arrakis.

In the sequel, we get much more Zendaya, plus new characters played by Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Léa Seydoux, and Christopher Walken.

Critics are lauding the movie for its epic scope and powerful performances by its leads, Chalamet and Zendaya. Some are even calling it one of the greatest sequels ever made.

Here's a roundup of their reactions to the movie.

Timothee Chalamet holding up a knife
Timothée Chalamet in "Dune: Part Two."Warner Bros.

The movie feels epic

The sets, costumes, and "Lawrence of Arabia"-like shots of desert vistas have left critics blown away by the movie's look.

"The second Dune film is superb at showing us an entire created world, a distinct and now unmistakable universe, which will probably be much imitated," Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian wrote.

"Villeneuve treats each shot as if it were a painting," Variety's Peter Debruge wrote. "Every design choice seems handed down through millennia of alternative human history, from arcane hieroglyphics to a slew of creative masks."

Florence Pugh in a head dress
Florence Pugh in "Dune: Part Two."Warner Bros.

But all the new characters eat up a lot of screen time

New characters seem to appear in almost every other scene, and critics noticed.

"With the expansion of the world comes more characters," Therese Lacson of Collider wrote. "If you're familiar with the 'Dune' book series, you'll know that these characters are quite important and need to have their time on screen. But if you're not familiar with the books, you might be wondering why there's a new character popping up on screen every few minutes."

"The Emperor of the Known Universe decides to pay Arrakis a visit and settle the war between the houses once and for all. He's played by a badly miscast Christopher Walken, whose natural affectations distract from a movie that's in desperate need of a more grounded presence," IndieWire's David Ehrlich wrote. "Florence Pugh, by contrast, strikes the perfect balance between strength and survivalism in her brief role as the Emperor's daughter, but her character is ultimately just a series of bejeweled headpieces in search of a narrative purpose. Like so much in this film, Princess Irulan is so amazing to look at that Villeneuve can only think to pose her."

Zendaya touching Timothée Chalamet's face
Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya in "Dune: Part 2."Warner Bros.

A big highlight is the love story between Paul (Timothée Chalamet) and Chani (Zendaya)

Another highlight is the pairing of Chalamet and Zendaya, who finally get some meaty screentime together.

"Fremen society and Paul's relationship with Chani are among the threads that get more robust consideration in Villeneuve's highly anticipated sequel," Lovia Gyarkye from The Hollywood Reporter wrote.

"This 'Dune' is never better than when it frames its messianic spectacle as the backdrop for a star-crossed love story about a woman falling in love with the same man she doesn't trust to free her people," IndieWire's Ehrlich wrote.

Sandworms attacking
A dramatic desert scene in "Dune: Part 2."Warner Bros.

Prepare for a cliff-hanger ending

Like in the first movie, you're not going to get many answers by the end.

"Don't expect a definitive ending," The Daily Beast's Nick Schager wrote. "It's clear that 'Dune: Part Two' is merely a prelude for a true finale."

"You feel as if the storytelling wave is just beginning to crest," David Fear of Rolling Stone wrote. "We leave as we came in, knowing more is on the way, yet punch-drunk from the love triangles and the battles that will lead to even bigger fracas among fractured, warring houses. It's not a spoiler to say that the stage is set for a third movie."

Timothée Chalamet and Austin Butler fighting
Timothée Chalamet and Austin Butler in "Dune: Part Two."Niko Tavernise/Warner Bros.

'The best sci-fi epic of the century'

Critics really like the movie.

Joshua Rothkopf at The Los Angeles Times, who called it a "sci-fi masterpiece" in the headline of his review, said: "Villeneuve has made good on one of the great Hollywood gambles in recent memory, delivering a two-part epic of literary nuance, timely significance and maybe even the promise of another film or two. Like that talking baby in the womb, it speaks to what's coming more than we may know."

Inverse's Hoai-Tran Bui dubbed it "the best sci-fi epic of the century" in her headline. "It's a towering feat of sci-fi cinema that will put 'Dune: Part Two' in contention for the pantheon of greatest sequels ever."

Read the original article on Business Insider