Dune 2 Might Not Be the Top Sci-Fi Film of 2024 – My Experience with Civil War

Culture news Dune 2 is not necessarily the best sci-fi film of 2024. I saw Civil War and it is indescribable!

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Science fiction has found a luxury representative in 2024. All eyes are certainly on Denis Villeneuve's Dune 2, but an unexpected challenger could well steal the show. Alex Garland sets the United States and cinemas on fire in the spring with an anticipation film. Can Civil War overshadow the saga directed by Denis Villeneuve?

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It's been good to be a fan of science fiction for a few years. 2023 was an exceptional year for cinema, and 2024 could well be even better. After The Creator by Gareth Edwards and Mars Express by Jérémie Périn, it was the turn of Dune 2 directed by Denis Villeneuve to create a sensation at the end of February. However, its hold on SF could ultimately be short-lived. Alex Garland's new film risks setting the hearts of spectators ablaze when it is released in April 2024.


Civil War in a nutshell

Civil War is an anticipation film (literary and cinematographic subgenre of science fiction setting its stories in the near future) directed and scripted by Alex Garland. This British author and filmmaker has distinguished himself in the past with his writing on 28 Days Later (2002), Sunshine (2007) and Dredd (2012) before going behind the camera and offering moviegoers Ex machina (2014) and Annihilation (2018). With its budget of 50 million US dollars, this A24 production relies on a casting drawing sometimes from Hollywood stars sometimes from the young guard of independent cinema to depict the fall of a democracy.

The story of Civil War begins a few years in the future in the heart of a North America on the verge of implosion. While the collapse of the United States looms following the declarations of secession of several states and the armed reaction of the federal government, journalists including the character played by Kirsten Dunst (Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy) attempt to cover this major historical event. The second American civil war could well be fatal to the land of freedom.

The cast of the Civil War film: Nick Offerman (President), Kirsten Dunst (Lee), Wagner Moura (Joel), Jefferson White (Dave), Nelson Lee (Tony), Evan Lai (Bohai), Cailee Spaeny (Jessie) and Stephen McKinley Henderson (Sammy)

Civil War is released in cinemas in France on April 17, 2024.

Dune 2 is not necessarily the best sci-fi film of 2024. I saw Civil War and it is indescribable!

A cinematic divide

I must be sincere before going to the front. I have an indecisive relationship with the director Alex Garland, or rather the filmography of Alex Garland which has in the past been able to delight me as much as to disappoint me. Ex Machina and its application of the Turing test were a revelation for me. Conversely, Annihilation with Natalie Portman gave rise to a feeling of disappointment rarely felt in me. Knowing this filmmaker on a subject as delicate as the Second American Civil War, as fictional as it may be, was enough to make me shudder… in every sense that this term is capable of concealing.

Civil War has the intelligence to begin in media res while the United States has been in the grip of an internal conflict, and has been for several months. The federal government is cornered and on the verge of losing to the armed forces of the West led by the seditious states of California and Texas. There is no question here of following the birth of a fratricidal war and even less the troops taking part in it. Alex Garland makes the choice (sensible in my opinion) to embrace the point of view of a handful of war reporters and to print on film the fall of a country.

Dune 2 is not necessarily the best sci-fi film of 2024. I saw Civil War and it is indescribable!

It seems obvious to me that the assault on the Capitol carried out on January 6, 2021 by supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump had a profound impact on the filmmaker, who strives to imagine the worst to warn the American people, but also the rest of the world. . Just like the soldiers and insurgents engaged on the front line, our journalists are at the heart of the action, but without ever taking sides. This allows the director to portray both camps without siding with one side or the other, and to present as bluntly as possible the worst abuses committed in the name of their deep convictions.

It is also unpleasant (and it is intended that way) to witness the end of a democracy which until recently claimed to be “the country of freedoms”. In Civil War, the freedom of some encroaches on that of others, and vice versa. And we are on the front line to discover horror in its simplest form. The protagonists, “voyeur” witnesses of a History that is written in front of their lens, are junkies high on adrenaline documenting the worst antics of a humanity that has lost its bearingsand they are so chasing the perfect “cliché”.

Dune 2 is not necessarily the best sci-fi film of 2024. I saw Civil War and it is indescribable!

I can only bow to the fine performance of Kirsten Dunst consumed by her addiction to her profession and haunted by her memories. And the rest of the cast is not left out. Cailee Spaeny bursts onto the screen as an image reporter eager to learn and make a name for herself even if it means putting herself in danger. For those who would like to see her again in the cinema soon, you won't have to wait long. This American actress will play the main role in Alien: Romulus. 2024 is definitely the year of revelation for her, and it is well deserved.

All that remains for me to do is to quickly mention the war itself, which is certainly omnipresent, but has become “discreet”. The clashes, few in number, were enough to create real tension and expose a North America engulfed in flames. The action is filmed as close as possible and adopts a documentary point of view… filmed with a hand-held camera only when it is relevant. The gunfights and other guerrilla sequences are all the more credible due to their striking realism and their relative “rarity”.

There are several “science fictions”, that which explores the ends of the universe, that which triggers a galactic war, that which declares war on machines, and that which remains down to earth and depicts a dark near future. Civil War is to anticipation what Star Wars is to Space Opera… the best. Alex Garland's creation stands proudly alongside the films Sons of Man (2006), Her (2013) and Welcome to Gattaca (1997), each in its own register.


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