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By Victoria Alexander

Yes, it is a gorgeous production but not a masterpiece. I’ll be brave and say it: Walken is a feeble lopsided emperor, Bardem is over-acting in his own movie and Bautista’s emotional decimal is higher than everyone else. Only Butler ignites the movie.

According to Google, 2021 DUNE PART 1 had a budget of $165 million and grossed $402 million - during the pandemic. How many people who paid to see DUNE PART 1 read the book by Frank Herbert? If the same number of people see PART 2, how can the projection of $1 billion worldwide be predicted? According to Variety, the film is projected to make between $60 million and $80 million in the US alone for its first weekend. Unless you saw DUNE: PART 1 or read the book (my prediction is reading is going the way of cursive), you will not understand what the hell is going on. Why is spice so important? If spice rules the world, why are the people living on the spice planet so poor? Why are there people on a planet that does not have water? How did humans get there in the first place?


Apparently, the people living on the planet have nothing to do with spice production. Machines do the work. How did humans come to live on a planet without water? These miserably poor people are constantly trying to disrupt the key element – spice - needed for expansion throughout the Universe. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?


The planet’s humans are called Fremen. Does spice serve a special purpose to the Fremen? The heighten consciousness that spice gives them certainly hasn’t enhanced their lives. Their world has no colors. What does no color do to the human brain? What benefit is having the white of their eyes turn blue?

If every planet has a House to rule it, who originally ruled Arrakis?

The Fremen are waiting for a messiah to help them. The only Fremen not “drinking the messiah Kool-Aid” is Chani (Zendaya).

Like most of the people who saw DUNE: PART 1, and those who will see DUNE: PART 2, I have not read the book.


Now, what about those “worms.” No one knows anything about the true indigenous lifeform on the planet. Are the worms angry about the removal of spice? Do the worms make spice? What do the worms eat? How does the constant spice production affect the worms?


So the worms are the Moby Dicks of Arrakis. How many ticket buyers read Moby Dick? There was a 1956 movie directed by John Huston starring Gregory Peck. Captain Ahab rode Moby Dick. Paul gains the Fremen’s respect by riding a big worm.


In PART 1, Duke Leto Atreides (Oscar Isaac), the ruler of the planet Caladan, is assigned by the Emperor Shaddam (unseen in PART 1) to replace Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgard) as the fief holder of the desert planet Arrakis. What is “spice”? It is said to be a psychotropic substance that bestows heighten awareness, but its power is key to interstellar travel. What is the agenda of the interstellar navigators?

Once on the planet, Duke Leto did not do much or help the people. The Fremen were suspicious of House Atreides. Could life get any worse under House Atreides? Why didn’t he just bring water? He could have been The Water God of Arrakis.


I saw DUNE: PART 2 at the best possible venue, the Dolby Cinema Theater at AMC Town Square in Las Vegas. The Dolby theater is the best way to see director Denis Villeneuve’s majestic production. However, why was so much of the dialogue that was not subtitled, impossible to hear?


PART 2 delves deeper into the Emperor’s (Christopher Walken) plan. We find him sitting in a garden with his daughter, Princess Irulan (Florence Pugh). It reminded me of I, CLAUDIUS, where all the emperors stayed in their gardens. The Emperor wanted to destroy House Atreides by having House Harkonnen retake Arrakis by bloodshed and destruction. Duke Leto wasn’t tough enough.

20,000 years in the future and humans still have a caste system with titles and poor people. The human race is still colonizing but now it’s planets with resources but without a standing army.

A quote attributed to Napoleon, “An army marches on its stomach” has evolved in the year 10,191 to ‘an army marches on its testosterone lust for conquering and subduing other planets.’ Also, by 10,191, the suffixes A.D. and B.C.E. are gone.

I still do not know anything about why the Fremen claim the planet. How did they get there? What happens to generations of humans living without colors? What do they eat on a planet of sand?

Imagine if the Fremen saw colors! In Roman times, the color purple was reserved exclusively for the emperor - some even punished their citizens if they wore any shade of the color. Queen Elizabeth 1 set laws that permitted only her close relatives to wear purple.

DUNE: PART 2 picks up moments after PART 1. It begins with the burial of Jamis, a Fremen warrior whom Paul killed in a knife fight. Duke Leto is killed. His widow, Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), a Harkonnen, is still a significant member of the Bene Gesserit. The Bene Gesserit are forbidden to bear male children (females are the dominant species). Lady Jessica gives Duke Leto a son, Paul (Timothee Chalamet) thinking he could be the foretold Kwisatz Haderach, a messianic super-being prophesied to guide humanity that has already thrived and conquered the Universe. What better future are they waiting? Jessica defied her life’s purpose. Secretly, she trained their son, Paul, in the special skills of her cult.

The special ways are enduring pain and a deep voice. Lady Jessica did not lose her position in the Bene Gesserit. Regardless of betraying the Bene’s directive, the Reverend Mother Gaius Helen (Charlotte Rampling) does not throw Lady Jessica out of the cult. If Gaius Helen is indeed the Emperor’s Truthsayer, she didn’t know Lady Jessica was lying about intentionally giving Duke Leto a male heir. As the head of the Bene Gesserit, Gaius Helen wears big shoe boxes on her head. What’s up with that?

All the costumes are ugly. No one wears DUNE costumes on Halloween.

With House Atreides destroyed, now pregnant Lady Jessica and Paul are outlaws. Aided by Chani (Zendaya), Paul must prove his loyalty is to the Fremen. After being accepted into the Fremen, Lady Jessica is asked to take the place of their dying Reverend Mother, who transfers her memories in an orgastic fit. Lady Jessica uses her new position to imply Paul is the messiah they have been waiting for. Paul enjoys his new place in Fremen society and is given the honorific name Muad'Dib. Chani, who now has an intimacy with Paul, is quite vocal that waiting for a messiah to save them is ridiculous. Lady Jessica’s womb is carrying her daughter who refuses to shut up and is constantly complaining to her mother and brother. They treat the “pre-birth baby” as a sage.

PART 2 really takes off with the arrival of the villainous Feyd (Austin Butler). He is the Baron’s nephew, and his outstanding personality trait is sadism. His birthday celebration is reminiscent of Commodus entering the gladiator arena. Hey, it worked for GLADIATOR.

While the budget is on the screen, the problems are evident. As the movie ends, Paul joins his mother in turning away from his moral code and becomes emperor. Paul wants to be emperor instead of messiah. Messiahs come and go, emperors build cities. Will we be left with this ending, or will there be a DUNE: PART 3? Word is, if you want DUNE: PART 3, you better get your family and friends to see PART 2 because, supposedly, no one is contractually obligated to be in PART 3. If this is true, Chalamet can demand $50 million to return. PR is using a threat to get people in seats for PART 2 or there will not be a PART 3.

Chalamet grows a backbone, Ferguson’s role expands and Zendaya commands the trophy for acting. Florence Pugh, Lea Seydoux, and Anya Taylor-Joy all look alike. They are the catwalk models of DUNE: PART 2. Josh Brolin looks his true height, Javier Bardem chews up the scenery and every actor around him, Dave Bautista screams, Jason Momoa hugs, and Walken gets a 2-day paycheck.



The ALL is Mind; The Universe is Mental.” 

 Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer Critic. For a complete list of

Victoria Alexander's movie reviews on Rotten Tomatoes go to:

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Member of Las Vegas Film Critics Society



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