Fantasy & Beyond

A Book Forum for Speculative Fiction

Discuss SFF films, TV series, games, comics, and other media here.
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By Magnus
SKInkslinger wrote:I just watch Dune 2 the other day and man it's AMAZINGGGGGGGGGGGG! The visuals, the story, the sound effect, everything is just perfect. The characters are all quite interesting, and that last fight with Feyd Rautha man, now that for sure is some good stuff. I'm definitely looking forward to part 3, one of those few movies I'll go to the cinemas for. *.*
I went ahead and created a separate topic because I have a lot to say about this film.

I watched it yesterday and was not disappointed despite being quite hyped. For the first film, Villeneuve admitted he couldn't quite go just the way he wanted with the story because he still had to sell it to the producers. The core of Dune is not a Hollywood story. For Part 2 he was given free reigns, so the story we see is more true to the original.

Do not read on unless you've seen the film. :shock:

Part of what makes the story different is the fact that Paul is treated like most children of prophecy in various works of fantasy, as an undeniable saviour who can't do wrong, yet the truth is that the prophecy and the power slowly changes him into the monster he was supposed to fight against (and worse). Some of it was perhaps a bit too on the nose, but I recognise it's much more difficult to be subtle in a film. Although when he finds out he's a descendant of the baron Harkonnen, he ends up straight-up saying that he will "act like a Harkonnen" (or something similar), which I think they could have toned down a bit.

I also liked that they made Chani the single sensible person who would stand up and say "this is fucked up, we can't do this", and people shushing her and telling her (or forcing her) to sit down. It's almost comical, and nearly fourth-wall breaking.

And despite this, it's hard not to get pulled along by the awe of the fremen riding the sandworms into battle. :beaming:
I do hope Villeneuve ends up making Dune Messiah. The book is admittedly even more of a mess than the first one, but the ideas are great, and it ties up Paul's story in a more satisfying (and horrifying) way. As far as I know, it has not been given the go. But it seems Part 2's success is likely to make it possible, at least.
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By cupiscent
I went to see this last night, and I am very glad I did, because it was visually spectacular and so magnificent to watch. But narratively it just didn't compel me, and I was left feeling a bit empty about it.
I think my biggest problem is that there's a lot going on, but it's all pulling in different directions, and the whole thing lacked a solid central conflict. Paul, to me, lacked motivation and drive, and therefore every decision he made was sort of just... wafting along with whatever happened next. Is he out for revenge? The narrative never has him dwell on that. (We only see the Atreides massacre through the Emperor's daughter, it doesn't seem to haunt Paul at all.) Is he yearning to free the Fremen? The narrative doesn't really give his connection with them as a people that sort of weight, they're more mildly antagonistic to be won over. Is it just about surviving? I don't feel like the movie really gave any teeth to that as a threat and a motivator.

For me, Paul's lack of goal meant that his resistance to his "destiny" - which is good, his conflict with his mother over that is some of the most compelling material in the film, for me - didn't really have anything to push against. He's resisting this, but... what's pushing him toward it? He just seems to give in because of the pressure, and I didn't think the pressure was all that much.

Possibly because of my lack of grasp on a central conflict, I also felt the pacing was weird. The extended training-montage of the first hour dragged (visually magnificent set-pieces aside) and then the whole film kinda came slamming to a stop for the extended (but beautiful, wow) Harkonnen sequence. (Honestly, that by itself was the most fascinating chunk of the film for me; everyone has a sharp-edged goal and they're all in exquisite tension. If the film had started with this, introducing Feyd-Rautha like this as the overarching antagonist, I feel like everything would have been far more taut.)

Also... everyone's now radioactive thanks to Paul nuking the battlefield at point-blank range as an opening gambit??
Anyway, so gorgeous.