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Don Reviews "The Last Duel"


I will admit it: I loved to play Dungeons & Dragons growing up, and I have always been fascinated by the Middle Ages. I often imagine going back in time and being around those castles in the height of their glory and be a part of that culture. So, when I got the chance to screen Ridley Scott’s new film “The Last Duel,” I was very intrigued.


Scott’s latest film stars Matt Damon, Adam Driver, Jodie Comer, Harriet Walter, and Ben Affleck. Set in 1300s France, the script is based on the true events of Jean de Carrouges (Damon) and his famous duel with Jacques Le Gris (Driver). Once friends and soldiers fighting for kind and country, their friendship gets strained and comes to a head after Jacques is accused of assaulting Jean’s wife, Marguerite. In the end, the dispute over the assault is decided by a duel to the death and is on record as the final duel mandated in France.


There is no secret to how much I love Ridley Scott as a director, but about fifteen minutes in, I actually forgot that he directed it. I enjoyed the cinematography here and was impressed by its historical accuracy and the acting was about what I expected (and was OK with the choice to not have anyone try to do accents that would have not worked).


This film basically tells its story in four “chapters” with the first three being the story told through the perspectives of Jean, Jacques and Marguerite and the forth being all three coming together for the duel itself and the fallout from it. Even though this has been done many times before, this time it did not work for me and part of that is because it ended up making the film WAY TOO LONG!!! At two and a half hours, I truly felt it and believe there could have been a LOT trimmed back here I will admit that the different perspectives made me think about where the truth really was, but due to the length, I can not recommend “The Last Duel” in any theater setting, so your best bet here is to stream it at home so you can teak the necessary breaks you will need.

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