There are not major spoilers in this review!!!
History of the Last Duel
The Last Duel like many historical drama stories was adapted from a book by Eric Jager. The screenplay was written by Nicole Holofcener, Ben Affleck, and Matt Damon. The movie is two hours and 32 minutes long with an R rating. Its location is in medieval France where Jean de Carrouges (played by Matt Damon) challenges Jacques Le Gris (played by Adam Driver) to a duel because of the accusation of rape by Marguerite de Carrouges (played by Jodie Comer). This leads Jean to defriend his squire and Jacques to find support from Count Pierre d’Alençon.
Do You Believe Her or Him?
While I was drawn to the movie because of Jodie Comer and Adam Driver, Matt Damon gets the first-place award for the worst hairstyle to exist and Ben Affleck gets second place. In addition to the main four characters, Harriet Walter plays Nicole de Buchard, Alex Lawther plays King Charles VI, Serena Kennedy plays Queen Isabeau, Marton Csokas plays Crespin, Željko Ivanek as Le Coq, Tallulah Haddon plays Marie Bryony Hannah plays Alice, Nathaniel Parker plays Sir Robert de Thibouville, Sam Hazeldine play Thomin du Bois, Michael McElhatton plays Bernard Latour, Oliver Cotton plays Jean de Carrouges III.
The opening scene establishes their hatred for each other through a jousting match. It then cuts to better times when they were friends and Jean had recently married Marguerite de Thibouville. With everything at stake especially peoples’ lives, Marguerite watches from the stands to see who wins the duel. After King Charles VI makes his announcement, establishing the winner although we already know who won (the viewer) the movie ends on a somber note. The end of the movie also marks the end of an era in France concerning trial by combat where royalty and ordinary citizens would have to find other ways to entertain themselves.
Watch the Trailer
Overall View of The Last Duel
In spite of this cast, historical drama movies still have a tiny sliver of a home in Hollywood. I have to say it’s impressive Ridley Scott is still directing movies at his age. I had no idea he was in his mid-80s. Yes, Ridley Scott blamed millennials for the failure of The Last Duel, but even I thought some parts of it could’ve been shaved down. There wasn’t enough difference among the scenes so going back to a particular scene three times between Jacques and Marguerite wasn’t necessary. How Marguerite’s shoes came off before going up the stairs didn’t lend much to the heart of the story. Le Gris is not a good guy even if the details are not clear cut because back in France during the 1300s, there were no cell phones to document what he did. Then again, this probably behind a closed door so it results in a she said/he said case that sadly still happens to this day. The pacing could’ve been a little quicker, but all considering it was a good movie.
I give The Last Duel THREE FINGERS at 80%