Dune: Part Two First Reactions: 'The Definitive Sci-Fi Epic of a Generation'

Critics on social media offered their initial impressions of Denis Villeneuve's highly anticipated sequel, calling it a masterpiece full of fantastic performances, jaw-dropping visuals, and epic action.

by | February 15, 2024 | Comments


Three years after the release of Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, the wait for the follow-up is over, at least for critics who’ve seen Dune: Part Two and are sharing their thoughts on social media. The long-awaited sci-fi sequel premiered Thursday night in London, after which first reactions began to pop up online. Not only is Dune: Part Two said to be even better than the first movie, but some are saying the visuals and performances are unlike any ever seen before. If there are any complaints from the first wave of reviews, the length (166 minutes) seems to be it. The only other issue is that the rest of us don’t get to see it until it’s released in theaters on March 1.

Here’s what critics are saying about Dune: Part Two:

How epic is this movie?

Dune: Part Two is jaw-dropping, breathtaking, and wildly exhilarating. It’s an adrenaline rush to the head and heart, soaring in its spectacle-driven action sequences as much as it sings in its refined, evocative stillness.” – Courtney Howard, Fresh Fiction

“Absolutely loved Dune: Part Two from start to finish! I was blown away by every aspect, from the story, the acting, the visuals, and the soundtrack. Everything felt epic!” – Dorian Parks, Geeks of Color

Dune: Part Two is impressively large in scope and rarely lets up in intensity. This is Denis Villeneuve’s (guerilla) war film, just done on an epic science fiction level.” – Joey Magidson, Awards Radar

Dune: Part Two is MASTERFUL filmmaking on an epic scale. Denis Villeneuve marries gripping character development to vast, sweeping cinematic visuals.” – Sean O’Connell, CinemaBlend

“Sci-fi mythmaking at its finest and most tragic: the gravity of manufactured destiny, the untamable tendrils or belief. Loved this” – Jeffrey Zhang, Strange Harbors

Dune: Part Two is not only Denis’s magnum opus; it’s the definitive sci-fi epic of a generation. A tragic tale of blind fanaticism and corruption. A spectacular, soulful, awe-inspiring masterclass of aesthetics and mood beautifully echoing Paul’s turbulent journey. Left me speechless!” – Griffin Schiller, FilmSpeak

“It exceeded my expectation. A masterpiece!” – Wendy Lee Szany, The Movie Couple

Image from Dune: Part Two (2024)

(Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures)

So fans of the first movie will be happy?

“Dare I say it’s a perfect film. Better than the first one.” – Rosa Parra, In Their League

“If you liked the first one I can’t imagine you not liking this one too.” – David Ehrlich, IndieWire

“Anyone fond of the first movie will be deeply satisfied here.” – Joey Magidson, Awards Radar

“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.” – Mike Ryan, Uproxx

Dune: Part Two is a triumph. Even more immense than the first, but much more intimate.” – Hoai-Tran Bui, Inverse

“Denis Villeneuve sticks the landing with Dune: Part Two, a fascinating, terrifying character study told on a gloriously grand sci-fi scale.” – Germain Lussier,

“Coming into this as more of a novice fan that has only seen the first one, but wasn’t too deep in the lore and books, this absolutely hooked me. I want everything Dune now.” – Dorian Parks, Geeks of Color

“I slightly prefer the simpler Dune to this complex chapter, but still, a towering achievement.” – Sean O’Connell, CinemaBlend

How is the action?

“The action certainly goes much harder than Part One.” – Jeff Nelson, Guy at the Movies

“The action sequences are epic and loud. Must be experienced in the theaters.” – Wendy Lee Szany, The Movie Couple

“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.” – Hoai-Tran Bui, Inverse

Timothée Chalamet and Austin Butler in Dune: Part Two (2024)

(Photo by Niko Tavernise/Warner Bros. Pictures)

What about the visuals?

“Some of the visuals in Dune: Part Two had me so astonished, I feel like I understand how everyone felt seeing Star Wars for the first time back in 1977. It’s just unbelievable at times.” – Brandon Davis,

“Denis Villeneuve does something so visually wild with Dune: Part Two that I’ve been thinking about it for days.” – Alissa Wilkinson, New York times

“The set pieces are jaw-dropping.” – Germain Lussier,

“Villeneuve crafts some truly VISIONARY moments.” – Gregory Ellwood,

Dune: Part Two is an audio/visual triumph on par with (relatively speaking) John Wick 4 or Avatar 2.” – Scott Mendelson, The Outside Scoop

How are Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya?

“Timothée Chalamet & Zendaya are INCREDIBLE in it.” – Germain Lussier,

“Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya turn in singular work.” – Courtney Howard, Fresh Fiction

“Timothée and Zendaya’s chemistry was unmatched, and the sprinkles of humor landed.” – Dorian Parks, Geeks of Color

“I can’t get over how talented Timothee Chalamet is.” – Wendy Lee Szany, The Movie Couple

“Zendaya is the star.” – Hoai-Tran Bui, Inverse

Austin Butler in Dune: Part Two (2024)

(Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures)

What about the rest of the cast?

“The supporting cast elevates all the rest.” – Germain Lussier,

“Austin Butler is absolutely transformative, captivating, and seductively evil. Yet another compelling performance from Dave Bautista. Rebecca Ferguson tears up the screen, rising to commanding power. Florence Pugh turns in career best work.” – Courtney Howard, Fresh Fiction

“Austin Butler gives a truly transformative performance.” – Gregory Ellwood, The Playlist

“Austin Butler as Feyd in this movie is demonic. He is literally channeling a demon from hell.” – Mike Ryan, Uproxx

“Austin Butler is the MVP alongside Rebecca Ferguson (again).” – Kristen Lopez, The Wrap

“At least Javier Bardem was having fun.” – David Ehrlich, IndieWire

Is it too long?

“The runtime flew by. I wanted them to run it back the second it ended!” – Dorian Parks, Geeks of Color

“My only complaint was I wish it was longer. Not joking around. The movie is 2hr and 40 min(?) and I would have been happy to watch another hour.” – Steve Weintraub, Collider

“A wee bit long? Yes. Did I forget I saw it the next day? Yes. Still, gonna be massive.” – Gregory Ellwood, The Playlist

“Like Dune 1, it’s a 2.5-hour film that mostly runs out of story at the 90-minute mark and jogs in place til the climax.” – Scott Mendelson, The Outside Scoop

Dune: Part Two opens in theaters everywhere on March 1, 2024.

Thumbnail image by Warner Bros. Pictures

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