I’m going back to my catch up from last year. The Last Duel was one of the many movies that I wanted to see but didn’t get a chance to. I didn’t initially know much about the movie when I first started seeing previews for the movie. I was surprised that the movie was based on the last recorded duel in France. That leads to the story being interesting since there’s records of everything in the movie.
One of the main things that interested me about The Last Duel was that it was directed by Ridley Scott. Scott directed on of my favorite movies from childhood which was Legend. I’m also a fan of other movies that Scott has directed and will be interested in whatever he’s attached to. I didn’t know that it was written by Nicole Holofcener, Ben Affleck, and Matt Damon. I also didn’t know that it was based on the novel The Last Duel: A True Story of Trial by Combat in Medieval France by Eric Jager. The three writers do a great job of telling the story and Scott brings it to the screen masterfully.
Both Damon and Affleck star in The Last Duel as well as being writers on the movie. The other two leads are Jodie Comer and Adam Driver. Jodie Comer had two very different movies come out last year and she was fantastic in both. Her roles in Free Guy and this movie could not be any different, but she knocks it out of the park in both roles. Ben Affleck plays his role with a lot of smarm, which fits the character well. The movie really hinges on the performances from Damon and Driver as well as Comer. All three of them are the nucleus of the story.
The Last Duel tell the story of Jean de Carrouges, Jacques Le Gris, and Marguerite de Carrouges. The story is told in chapters as well as dealing with the perspectives of each of the three people. You see how the different interactions between people are viewed by each of the people in the interaction. It also shows how different other people view someone as opposed to the way the person sees themselves.
All of the combat in The Last Duel is incredibly brutal. The duel is one of the most brutal sword fights that I have ever seen. You feel the brutality of the fight between two men that have an incredibly complicated relationship. Seeing how that relationship changes throughout the movie as well as how it leads to the duel deepens the emotion there. The set designers and costume designers for The Last Duel is on a whole different level. They deserve to be nominated for an Oscar, if not win it. The score from Harry Gregson-Williams deepens the emotions throughout the movie.
The Last Duel is a fantastic movie and really deserved to do better in theaters. It does seem to be the fate of Ridley Scott to makes fantastic movies, that sometimes underperform in cinemas. He also blamed the underperformance on millennials not being able to stay off their phones, which as a millennial myself I take some umbrage with. I do wish that I had been able to see it in theaters, because seeing the actions scenes on a big screen and an amazing sound system would add even more intensity to already intense moments. You can stream The Last Duel on HBO Max. I give The Last Duel 9.5 maps of land out of 10.