Princess Irulan Corrino (Florence Pugh) writes in a secret journal that Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) may still live. But her father, Emperor Shaddam IV (Christopher Walken) is unhappy after destroying the House Atreides. On the way to Sietch Tabr on Arrakis, Stilgar’s (Javier Bardem) Fremen troops, including Paul and his mother Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) defeat a Harkonnen attack. At the Sietch, Paul and Jessica are suspected of being spies. However, some Fremen believe the prophecies of a mother and son bringing prosperity to Arrakis.

Stilgar informs Jessica that their Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother (Charlotte Rampling) is dying. Jessica is convinced to replace her by drinking the Water of Life, which is poisonous to males and the untrained. She not only survives, she inherits the memories of every female ancestor. She is secretly pregnant and the Water of Life prematurely awakens her unborn daughter’s mind. She has spiritual conversations with Alia (voice of Anya Taylor-Jay), the fetus in her womb. Chani (Zendaya), Paul’s love-interest, believes the prophecy is false, but when Paul convinces her that he does not seek power for himself, she comes to believe.

Paul learns the Fremen ways and language and succeeds in riding a sandworm. He is called Muad’dib after the muad’dib desert mouse and the constellation named after it. Jessica guides him. Glossu Rabban (Dave Bautista), the Baron’s brutal nephew, leads raids on the Fremen to protect the Spice production and please his Uncle Vladimir Harkonnen (Stellen Skarsgard), who promotes murderous younger nephew Feyd-Rautha (Austin Butler). Margot Fenring (Léa Seydoux), a Bene Gesserit sent by the Reverend Mother, seduces Feyd to secure his genes, just in case Paul’s bloodline fails.

Jessica turns south after her religious quest is done and unites with Fremen fundamentalists. Paul fears a holy war if he becomes Messiah. He reunites with Gurney Halleck (Josh Brolin), now a Spice-smuggler, who leads Paul to the atomic stockpile of House Atreides. Feyd’s troops attack Sietch Tabr, forcing Paul and the other survivors to journey south. There, Jessica learns that the Water of Life is a liquid excreted by young sandworms when drowned. Paul is shaken that he had not seen the attack coming and sees visions of Chani being hurt. Against Chani’s advice, he consumes the Water of Life, falls into a coma, and wakes with a clear vision of the past and future. He sees a vision of Alia (Anya Taylor-Joy) and learns that the Baron Harkonnen is his grandfather.

The Fremen in the south want Paul to challenge Stilgar, but Paul refuses, However, he impresses them by reading their minds. He accepts the prophecy and declares himself the Lisan al Gaib, taking power. He challenges Shaddam, who arrives with Irulan and Mohiam Bene Gesserits and the Sardauker troops. Shaddam chastises the House Harkonnen for not destroying the Fremen. Paul and the Fremen, riding on sandworms, overpower the Sardaukar. Paul enters the throne room and orders them all transported to the capital, He challenges Shaddam for the throne as the Great Houses arrive in orbit. He threatens to destroy the Spice fields if they intervene.

Paul challenges Shaddam to a duel, who chooses Feyd-Rautha as his champion. Paul kills Feyd-Rautha. Irulan consents to marry Paul to save her father and Shaddam kneels to kiss his signet ring. The Great Houses in orbit refuse to accept Paul and he orders the Fremen to attack the fleet, thus bringing the holy war. Chani refuses to bow to Paul and flees on a sandworm.

This, the second film from Frank Herbert’s 1965 book, directed, produced, and co-written by Denis Villeneuve, was green-lit with the success of the first film. It was filmed in Budapest, Italy, Jordan, and Abu Dhabi. It received rave reviews from critics and was called one of the best sequels of all time. David Peterson was back to develop the languages of the planets involved, and Hans Zimmer for the music, plus nearly all of the cast. It made more money than Oppenheimer in advanced sales. It got 94% on Rotten Tomatos. Christopher Nolan compared it to The Empire Strikes Back. Stellan Skarsgard’s body makeup took eight hours to apply. Chakobsa, the language of the Fremen, is based on Arabic, French, Greek, Romani, Slavic, Hebrew, and Sanskrit. The film appeared on the 40th anniversary of the Dune book in 1984. Timothée Chalamet proposes to Florence Pugh as he did in Little Women, and Josh Brolin battles Dave Bautista as he did in Avengers Infinity War.

The first movie covered the first half of Dune, and the second movie covered the second half. Part Three will cover Dune Messiah, the second book. Will Christopher Nolan go on to film Children of Dune, God Emperor of Dune, Heretics of Dune, Charterhouse: Dune, and 20 sequels written by Frank Herbert’s son Brian? God, I hope not. The studio will happily bankroll movies until one of them doesn’t make money, as they do, but I think Denis Villeneuve has more brains than that. This is about the most powerful, and loudest, movie I’ve ever seen, and it pays proper respect to the Dune books.

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