THE LAST DUEL review – enjoyable period piece that’s based on a true story

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Title: The Last Duel
Director: Ridley Scott
Starring: Matt Damon, Adam Driver, Jodie Comer, and Ben Affleck
Movie length: 2 hour 32 minutes

What it is: The long in development and release delayed movie based on the book of the same name from Eric Jager about the last judicial duel in France. Marguerite de Carrouges (Jodie Comer) accuses Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver) of raping her. Marguerite’s husband Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon) challenges Le Gris to a duel to the death.

What Dan thought: Ridley Scott has directed many different styles of films from horror science fiction (Alien) to dystopian science fiction (Blade Runner) to historical drama (Gladiator) to war films (Black Hawk Down) and has had a great success in all of them. This movie is no exception, from the short but intense battle scenes, to the historical drama between Damon and Driver’s characters to the very intense and edge of your seat duel between them. The movie may be around 2 1/2 hours but it moves at a quick pace thanks to the script Nicole Holofcener, Affleck, and Damon.

The leads were all great in their roles, with Affleck bringing a bit of humor to his role as Count Pierre d’Alençon (who seemed to enjoy hurling insults). Comer’s role as the rape victim and Damon’s role as the husband who is out to avenge her rape were terrific. Driver was intense as he usually is in dramatic roles.

The score from Harry Gregson-Williams (who has worked with Ridley Scott a few times) was well done as was the sound editing/mixing (particularly in the duel scene at the end of the movie). Also kudos to the fight scene coordinator Trayan Milenov-Troy for making the fight scene between de Carrouges and Le Gris very realistic and intense.

Dan’s Grade: A. If you like period pieces based on true stories with a bit of violence of scattered in, this is the movie for you.

The Last Duel is now playing only in theaters.


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