4K Blu-ray Review: Dune Part Two

Blu-ray Reviews, Reviews, Top Story


Denis Villeneuve’s Dune series is everything that you want from cinema, and yet unlike other big productions that are broken up into two films, Dune Part Two was never a guarantee. Villeneuve wanted to break the first novel into two films due to how complex the story is, and yet production contracts were only secured for the first film, with the sequel being dependent on how successful Part One was. Add on the fact that Dune Part One was one of the first major films during the pandemic to release on the streaming service HBO max immediately alongside its theatrical release and it was entirely possible that Dune Part One would end up being an awkwardly titled stand-alone film that ends just as the story is about to really get going.

But the draw of Villeneuve’s style and vision brought audiences to the theater at a time when that was far from a guarantee, and the film also did incredibly well on HBO max as well, so Dune Part Two was greenlit, cast and crew all returned and it released theatrically to huge box-office numbers, currently sitting as the highest grossing film of 2024. And deservedly so! Dune Part Two is a masterpiece of filmmaking, as is Part One. In fact, watching these films back-to-back or one night after the other is an easy recommendation – possibly even a requirement.

The two films flow so seamlessly into one another, with the sequel picking up almost immediately after Part One ends. This makes sense as they’re not separate stories, but actually the adaptation of the first Dune novel by Frank Herbert, so even though there was a three-year break between movie releases, as far as the book is concerned, you simply took that long to flip the page and continue the story.

While it’s the second film in the series, Dune Part Two feels like the origin story of Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet). Personally, I love origin stories, and they’ll often be my favourite in a franchise even if another film rises to be the favourite of the masses. Batman Begins is a great example of this, as The Dark Knight has all the prestige thrown upon it, yet I just love watching Bruce Wayne learn what it takes to properly don the cowl and finally become Batman. That’s the vibe I get from Dune Part Two, as Paul has joined the Fremen and wishes to learn their ways in order to harness the power of the desert that his father believed would help bring peace and a mutually beneficial relationship between House Atreides and the Fremen.

I was surprised to learn that the first film covers over half of the book, as while watching Part Two it really feels like the first film – even at two-and-a-half-hours in length – was just the prologue, setting the stage for the things to come. Dune Part Two feels so massive, with training taking place, relationships forming, politics happening across various worlds, and loads of explosive, room-shaking battle sequences happening throughout; yet it actually has less of the novel to cover, bringing to life roughly the final third of the book. I began to wonder if Villeneuve had decided to break the movie into three parts, as it just feels like there’s so much ground to cover yet he’s never in a rush to get there.

That’s what makes Dune Part One and Part Two so great though, in that Villeneuve is true to his vision and lets it come to life in the time it needs to do so. The second film is 10 minutes longer than the first, with both being closer to three hours in length than two, yet the pacing of both films is perfect. There’s never a moment where I felt taken out of the world, or where I felt things were dragging on. This is basically a five-hour sci-fi epic, and not once in that time does the story lull or does a shot or scene feel as though it doesn’t need to be there.

More than once throughout the film I actually hoped I was nowhere near the end, as it’s just so completely engrossing that you just want this story to continue until it’s complete. And I’m not talking about this novel, as Part Two does complete that – I’m talking about the entire Dune book series. I remember when I finished the first film, it was a late showing and it ended in the early hours of the morning, yet I was ready for Part Two right then and there. That’s how I feel now: bring on the next book!

For that though, we’ll have to wait. Likely even longer than we had to wait for Part Two, as Villeneuve has his eyes on tackling another project before returning to Arrakis. Selfishly, I want him to push that desire aside and focus on his Dune franchise exclusively, but these are exhaustive undertakings, so I do get the need to step away momentarily (even if by momentarily in this scenario it means years.) What Villeneuve has done with Dune is extraordinary, bringing the novel to life in a way that can only be described as visual poetry on a blockbuster scale. His cinematic vision is unquestionably one of the best Hollywood has ever known, and Dune Part Two showcases that spectacularly. It’s one of the best films of the year, and a showcase of what moviemaking magic truly is.

Overall Movie Score: 5/5

4K Blu-ray Video and Audio Review:

There are some truly superb 4K movies out there, but the ones you would recommend to someone who wants to truly put the capabilities of their home entertainment center to the test don’t come around every day. Dune Part Two is one of those films (as is Dune Part One), as this movie is the definition of an experience with the proper home set-up. Visually, the film is gorgeous. We’ve got a 2160p/HDR10/Dolby Vision compatible transfer, and it’s a feast for the eyes. Villeneuve takes the viewer from the blazing desert to the darkness of a cave or the interiors of the Harkonnen base – the vibrantly white exteriors of a Harkonnen base and gladiator pit, all while the 4K Blu-ray disc never misses a beat.

The textures of the landscapes are showcased beautifully, and the details on what will no doubt be Academy Award nominated costumes are magnificent. As mentioned before, Villeneuve is so visually poetic in his storytelling that it’s only fitting that it’s given the best treatment for home viewing as well. And for those wondering if Dune is as impactful in your living room as it is in a giant theater, well, it’s as close as one can get and the movie itself still holds strong.

The Dolby Atmos track will literally rock your room if you have a surround sound setup. The film’s score will shake the glass and fully encompass you in the moment, with the sound effects coming at you from all angles throughout. There’s nothing not to love about this delivery, as even if you can’t crank the dial to eleven you’re still brought into the scenes and action at reasonable levels that don’t wake the neighbours. The dialogue is clean and clear, front and center, and easy to hear at all times, whether it’s a quiet scene or in the heat of battle with firepower whizzing by you from various speakers.

If you don’t yet own Dune Part One and Dune Part Two then it’s the highest recommendation to go pick them both up on 4K to enjoy, and truly see what your home system is capable of if you want to push it to the limits.

Special Features:

Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes – There’s so much I wanted from the special features of Dune Part Two, and while it’s great to get a look behind-the-scenes, I really wanted to see hours of materials to go through. That’s just a nod to how incredible this world Villeneuve has created is, as I just want to remain within it and watch how it all came to be. Alas, that’s not always how it is with big movies (at least during their initial home releases) so we get just under an hour of featurettes – which is a solid amount, don’t get me wrong – that at least touch on things people may want to learn more about.

The featurettes break down into the following parts:

Chakobsa Training – This is a 5-minute featurette about the creation of the Fremen language for the film, as well as having someone on set to help make sure it’s correct and consistent.

Creating the Fremen World – The main focus of the second film is Paul and his mother adapting to Fremen life, and this 12-minute featurette sees the cast and crew talk about bringing that part of this world to life for the screen, and how it differs from other worlds.

Finding the Worlds of Dune This featurette is just over 6-minutes in length and focuses on the locations and visuals found throughout the films.

Buzz Around the New “Thopter” – This featurette is the shortest at just under 4-minutes and quickly touches on the new vehicle in the film.

Worm-Riding – Speaking of vehicles, this featurette is just over 9-minutes and takes a look at the sandworm riding in the film, which is a big part of Fremen lifestyle and the movie in general.

Becoming Feyd – This 7-and-a-half minute featurette focuses on the look of Austin Butler as Feyd in Dune Part Two and getting into the part.

A New Set of Threads – This one comes in at just under 8-minutes in length and focuses on the costumes in the film.

Deeper into the Desert: The Sounds of Dune This 13-minue feature is the longest of the bunch and gives a nice deep-dive into the…well, sound of the film! Pretty self-explanatory, but still a great and informative watch nonetheless.

Disclaimer: A review copy of this Blu-ray was sent to me to cover in honest and truthful fashion.

Warner Bros. Pictures Presents Dune Part Two. Directed by: Denis Villeneuve. Written by: Denis Villeneuve, Jon Spaihts. Based on the novel by: Frank Herbert. Starring: Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Dave Bautista, Christopher Walken, Léa Seydoux, Stellan Skarsgård, Charlotte Rampling. Running time: 166 Minutes. Rating: 14A. Released on 4K Blu-ray: May 14, 2024.

Brendan Campbell was here when Inside Pulse Movies began, and he’ll be here when it finishes - in 2012, when a cataclysmic event wipes out the servers, as well as everyone else on the planet other than John Cusack and those close to him. Brendan’s the #1 supporter of Keanu Reeves, a huge fan of popcorn flicks and a firm believer that sheer entertainment can take a film a long way. He currently resides in Canada, where, for reasons stated above, he’s attempting to get closer to John Cusack.