p-dN2M7WZtRXv1r
Home > Written Reviews, Written Reviews > THE LAST DUEL The Historical Account

THE LAST DUEL The Historical Account

 

 

 

 

 

Review by John Delia

Totally immersive, the movie The Last Duel takes you into 14th century France where it deals with wars, the plague and an economical decline for the Kingdom. Entwined, during that period, is a true story of misogyny, a power struggle and a rivalry between Squires. Powerful acting, direction and cinematography delivers a compelling story that makes the 2 and a half hours fly by.

Matt Damon as Jean de Carrouges in 20th Century Studios’ THE LAST DUEL. Photo by Patrick Redmond. © 2021 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

The 1300’s Europe has been wrecked with war and plague and France has had a good share of the death and destruction. As the story begins find notable Squire and Knight Sir Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon) returning to his castle from a vicious battle in defense of his King. Having lost his wife to the plague, he marries Lady Marguerite de Carrouges (Jodie Comer), the daughter of a land owner with a vast amount of territory.

Equal in station to Jean de Carrouges, Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver) has fought alongside Sir Jean and is welcomed by the court of King Charles VI (Alex Lawther). With the backing of Sir Pierre d’Alencon (Ben Affleck), a favorite of the king, Le Gris underhandedly receives the title of Captain over rightful candidate de Carrouges.

The players are all set and so begins a sordid tale that includes the rape of Marguerite and a trial of the ages. Director Ridley Scott holds back nothing when it comes to war showing the explosive battles between invaders and the Romanesque realm of King Charles VI. The fighting is loud and violent as men on horseback and ground troops clash to a bitter end while the blood flows over their armor. Close-ups of the punishing blows show the power of the two armies as they hundreds die laying out on the gore soaked ground.

Adam Driver as Jacques LeGris and Matt Damon as Jean de Carrouges in 20th Century Studios’ THE LAST DUEL. Photo by Patrick Redmond. © 2021 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Scott doesn’t stop there. He then takes his audience into the dank castle of Jean de Carrouges showing a carnal rape in three repeating scenes. Each of the scenes are a view from each of the characters involved and Scott shows their testimony in a repetition of the crime. After the audience gets the whole back story, the 60 minute finale that encompasses the trial and the duel between Le Gris and de Carrouges, takes on an air so gripping it’s well worth the wait.

Jodie Comer, director Ridley Scott, and Matt Damon behind the scenes of 20th Century Studios’ THE LAST DUEL. Photo by Jessica Forde. © 2021 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

The cast is superb in their very difficult roles. Matt Damon plays the scar faced squire Jean de Carrouges, a man that’s beat down by long and distant battles. Valent with victories, he’s a favorite of King Charles IV, but there are jealous equals that would like to see de Carrouges fail. The undertow by those who would covet his worth, wife and station, are his enemy.

As de Carrouges’s lovely wife Marguerite, Jodie Comer does a terrific job of depicting the woman who finds herself married to a famous Squire who is loved by many. Quickly devoted to Jean, she hopes to replace the wife and child he lost to the plague. When she comes under scrutiny due to accusations of rape, she fights back against her rapist even knowing it could mean her own life if she loses the trial. Her performance should be considered for Oscar honors.

Matt Damon as Jean de Carrouges in 20th Century Studios’ THE LAST DUEL. © 2021 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

As the two adversaries of de Carrouges, Adam Driver pulls off a real “Simon Le Gris” using his station in life to abuse women and even joining Sir Pierre d’Alencon in a group sex fest. Pushing his way into Marguerite’s castle, he threatens her before assaulting the hapless woman.

De Carrouges’s other nemesis, played by Ben Affleck, has the ear of the King and his jealousy of de Carrouges leads him to defending Le Gris. The very cagy Pierre d’Alencon, has lifelong reasons for wanting de Carrouges’s death and he’ll try anything to see him lose in trial and in the arena.

Ben Affleck as Pierre d’Alençon, Adam Driver as Jacques Le Gris, and Matt Damon as Jean de Carrouges in 20th Century Studios’ THE LAST DUEL. Photo by Jessica Forde. © 2021 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

The Last Duel has been rated R by the MPAA for strong violence including sexual assault, sexual content, some graphic nudity, and language. The film opens in theaters on Friday October 15th everywhere. (4.5 out of 5 Stars)

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Matt Damon, Jodie Comer, Ben Affleck, Clare Dunne, Adam Driver, Harriet Walter, Marton Cosokas, Alex Lawther,
Directed By: Ridley Scott
Written by: Nicole Holofcener, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon
Genre: Drama, Action, History
MPAA Rating:  R for strong violence including sexual assault, sexual content, some graphic nudity, and language
Running Time: 2 hrs. 32 min.
Opening Date: October 15, 2021
Distributed by: 20th Century Studios
Released in: Theaters

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.
You must be logged in to post a comment.