Dune 2: Early reviews call sequel ‘one of the greatest sci-fi movies ever’

The first reactions to Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part Two are rolling in, with critics hailing the long-awaited sci-fi sequel as a “riveting, action-packed epic”.

That was the verdict of Inverse editor Hoai-Tran Bui, who wrote on social media: “Dune: Part Two is a triumph. Even more immense than the first, but much more intimate — Denis Villeneuve manages to streamline the more alienating second half of the book into a riveting, action-packed epic. Two Towers-level mastery of battle sequences. Zendaya is the star.”

The film was originally due to be released last year before it was delayed by the Hollywood strikes.

According to the film’s official logline, “Dune: Part Two will explore the mythic journey of Paul Atreides as he unites with Chani and the Fremen while on a warpath of revenge against the conspirators who destroyed his family.

“Facing a choice between the love of his life and the fate of the known universe, he endeavours to prevent a terrible future only he can foresee.”

Atreides is played by Timothée Chalamet, while the star-studded cast also includes Zendaya, Austin Butler and Florence Pugh. Anya Taylor-Joy has also recently confirmed that she has a surprise role in the film.

Zendaya in a scene from ‘Dune: Part Two’ (AP)
Zendaya in a scene from ‘Dune: Part Two’ (AP)

Among the other critics raving about the movie was Uproxx’s Mike Ryan, who wrote on X/Twitter: “I was kind of mixed on the first Dune. Dune: Part Two is phenomenal. Up there with the greatest sci-fi movies I’ve ever seen. I want to ride a sandworm.”

Gregory Ellwood of The Playlist also praised the film, despite admitting he’d forgotten he saw it by the following day. “Dune: Part Two is damn impressive,” he wrote. “Villeneuve crafts some truly VISIONARY moments. Austin Butler gives a truly transformative performance (and not talking makeup either). Very moving ending. A wee bit long? Yes. Did I forget I saw it the next day? Yes. Still, gonna be massive.”

Freelance writer Rendy Jones commented: “Dune Part Two is phenomenal! More astonishingly epic than P1 and boldly realize Herbert’s density in its political and religious themes. It’s all so intricately crafted that it leads to one of the coolest and riveting climaxes I’ve ever seen. Denis once again got that mf spice!”

Reel Blend co-host Jake Hamilton was among those comparing the epic film to Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, writing: “When Lord of the Rings ended in ‘03, I was worried we’d never have a movie experience like that ever again. I was wrong. Now we have Dune. Part Two isn’t just bigger and better than Part One in every way — it cements the series as one of the greatest cinematic experiences EVER.”

The first film was released in cinemas across the world in October 2021 and raked in $40.1m in ticket sales in its opening weekend in North America.

Dune: Part Two is set to arrive in cinemas on 1 March.