The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2


The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2


The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2


Follow KentWired on Instagram
Today’s Events

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Dune: Part 2’

Matthew Brown
Ticket holders find their seats as they wait for the premiere of “Dune Part 2” to start at Cinemark Valley View and XD in Cleveland on Feb. 27, 2024.

Writer’s note: This is a spoiler-free review.

This past week, I was given an incredible opportunity to travel to Cinemark Valley View for a special early screening of “Dune: Part 2.” 

The film is a direct sequel to “Dune” (2021) and follows the continuation of the story of Paul Atreides, the film’s main character, played by Timothée Chalamet. The star-studded movie also stars big names like Zendaya, Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Rebecca Ferguson, Christopher Walken, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Dave Bautista, Stellan Skarsgård and Léa Seydoux. It’s directed by Denis Villeneuve and is based on the book series “Dune” (1965) by Frank Herbert. 

KentWired opinion writer Nick Keller attends the premiere showing of “Dune: Part 2” at Cinemark Valley View and XD in Cleveland on Feb. 27, 2024. (Matthew Brown)

To put it lightly, “Dune: Part 2” is a modern sci-fi masterpiece. It perfectly blends action and mystique into a story about war and power. It is what I believe to be the best movie of the year so far and one of the best movies I have ever seen. The theater experience was beyond superb. 

After the movie was over, I spoke with two other movie-goers, who both said the film met their expectations and had opinions to share. The first was Je’Rod Cherry, a former three-time Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots, talk show host and NFL analyst for WKNR-AM 850 in Cleveland. He said that “Dune: Part 2” exceeded all his expectations. 

“I’ve seen ‘Dune’ at least ten-fifteen times,” said Cherry. “So for me to be in a space where I was like, ‘How is it going to end? What’s going to take place?’ Just an incredible movie. It definitely deserves the high ratings that it’s getting and I’ll watch it multiple times, just like I did with the first.” 

Je’Rod Cherry holds a poster for “Dune Part 2” after viewing the premiere on Feb. 27, 2024. (Matthew Brown)

I also spoke with Mike Wendt, production coordinator for Greater Cleveland Film Commission, who said that the film absolutely met all his expectations.

“You know, I just recently rewatched the first, and I think that certainly helped, but this one I think just takes it to another stratosphere. Just in the scale and in the scope, it’s just incredible. I can’t wait to see it again.”          

So many of the performances in this film are transcendent. 

Timothée Chalamet is truly a modern-day Marlon Brando. His performance is truly the best of his career and it makes me extremely hopeful that the future of Hollywood is bright with Chalamet in it. 

Rebecca Ferguson gives an absolute marvel of a performance as Lady Jessica. Her character undergoes a change at the halfway mark and her switch in personality is incredibly well executed. 

Zendaya’s performance is on another level. She sets an extremely high bar for the standard of young actresses and creates such a presence with every scene she’s in. There was a specific scene that brought tears to my eyes from her expression alone. 

Florence Pugh always kills it with every role she plays, and I really wish she had way more screen time in this movie. She plays a very interesting character that just sucks you in, so I’m hoping to see more of her in the third installment. 

The standout performance for me was without a doubt Austin Butler as the terrifying villain, Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen. Butler fully encapsulates this character and does something we’ve never seen him be capable of before. Every scene with him on screen sent chills down my spine, fully based on how immensely menacing he is.

I also asked both gentlemen who they thought the most standout actor was for them. Cherry said, “I got to give Timothée credit. He could control that role, and that’s not an easy role to play. When you think about it, for a guy that young to have that type of stage or camera presence, he just shines through. It’s like he was tailor-made for it.”   

Wendt had a different, but extremely agreeable answer. He said, “I actually thought that a lot of times Zendaya, I think, has not been given the strongest roles, but here she really did incredible. Chalamet did some work that I haven’t really seen him do before, so I was really surprised.” Then, we both agreed that Austin Butler did a fantastic job, especially after a role that was so different from anything he’s done before. 

Mike Wendt stands in front of the “Dune: Part 2” backdrop set up in front of the theater showing the premiere at Cinemark Valley View and XD in Cleveland on Feb. 27, 2024. (Matthew Brown)

Something that Villeneuve always makes sure his films incorporate is good visual effects. “Dune: Part 2” has visual effects that aren’t just good, but mind-blowing. 

All visual effects were done by DNEG Animation. VFX supervisors Rhys Salcombe, Stephen James and Michael Grobe are truly masters of their craft. There were several points throughout the movie that were so incredibly breathtaking that it left me with my jaw dropped. Not a single scene with CGI looked bad or lazily put together, which is important especially with a sci-fi film. 

Speaking of visuals, cinematographer Greig Fraser absolutely shines with his amazing work. Every long shot and cinematic camera work were absolutely wonderful.

I think that a staple we keep getting for these films is the impressive soundtrack. Hans Zimmer has done both soundtracks for Part 1 and Part 2 and never fails to send chills down my spine every time I hear one of his pieces played at any point in the film. I have been listening to the soundtrack for this film multiple times within the past week and it never gets old. 

All in all, “Dune: Part 2” is an absolutely revolutionary step for the film industry. 

It’s filled with amazing acting, stories, visuals and music. It’s very hard to find something wrong with this movie, and I quite honestly don’t think I could find anything, even if I had a gun to my head. It’s perfect in almost every way imaginable. If you haven’t yet, watch the preceding movie and then get your tickets now!    

I personally give “Dune: Part 2” a 10/10. 

Nick Keller is an opinion writer. Contact him at [email protected].

View Comments (2)
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Matthew Brown, Photo Editor
Matthew is a junior photography major. He has a passion for photography and traveling. Contact him at [email protected].

Comments (2)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • J

    Joyce HMar 5, 2024 at 12:46 pm

    I agree with your praise of the movie. Does it concern you how the tale is diverging from Herbert’s original?

    • N

      Nick KellerMar 5, 2024 at 3:22 pm

      Hi there! I think that there were several changes that needed to be made in order for it to work as a separate medium from the novels. Many choices they made, I actually found myself enjoying a little bit more, but all in all I think that it’s still relatively faithful to Herbert’s original story! It doesn’t stray too far, but far enough for it to not be extremely predictable for book readers.