The Last Duel Art

(20th Century Studios)

If love triangles are your thing, prepare for Ridley Scott’s newest film, inspired by a true story. 

“The Last Duel” is a thrilling epic set in the late 1300s surrounding two well-respected soldiers who start off as good friends and then turn into bitter enemies when their feelings for the same woman come between them, leading to a duel that will decide the fate of the three main leads.

The movie stars Matt Damon as Sir Jean de Carrouges and Adam Driver as Jacques Le Gris —  two knights — with Jodie Comer starring as Marguerite de Carrouges, the wife of Damon’s character. Damon and Ben Affleck, who is Pierre d’Alencon, helped write the script with Ridley Scott directing. 

Scott reunited with Damon in this film after previously working perfectly together on “The Martian.” This movie is no different, with his stunning direction throughout, as can be expected from the legendary director. 

The movie is based on a true story and is divided into three chapters. The first part is the truth according to Jean. The second chapter focuses on Jacques’ version of the truth. It finally ends with Marguerite’s perspective, which is described as the actual truth. 

The film showcases the close relationship between Jean and Jacques before tensions start to build. The strain in their relationship starts off when Pierre starts to show favoritism toward Jacques. This leads to anger from Jean and the two friends become estranged. 

They reunite at one of Jacques’ parties where Marguerite is introduced. Jacques falls in love with her and this leads to the downfall of the two knights’ friendship.

The most important thing to know about this movie is that it is not for everybody. People with histories of sexual assault could be easily triggered by the film, including a rape scene that is shown in the point-of-view of both Jacques and Marguerite. The scene is shown twice and is really tough to watch. It is a scene that seems unnecessary the first time, let alone showing it again, and could have been trimmed down or explained off-screen. 

The rest of the movie, however, does a good job of drawing it out. Although the accents are not the best, the performances are tremendous. Damon and Driver do a good job of playing two guys who seem pretty likeable at first. 

But by the end of the movie, it is tough to find the good in either of them, especially Driver’s Jacques. Comer really carries the movie through her pain and sorrow. She is going against everyone’s expectations of her and puts her life on the line, making  it easy for the audience to root for her.

The story is intriguing to see how the two main characters interpret what happened and what actually happened. There are times, though, when the story gets repetitive, especially since many scenes repeat. 

The action scenes are brutal. The movie builds the anticipation for the title of the film, which is the last duel between Jean and Jacques. That duel is well worth the wait. There is bloodshed and intense fighting with extraordinary payoff. 

With a budget of $100 million, the film only grossed $4.8 million on its opening weekend, signaling bad news for Scott. Whether it was competing with “Halloween Kills” or the lack of interest in films that are not a franchise, it seems like this movie is destined to lose a lot of money. 

The film is rated R for sexual assault, language, sexual content, some graphic nudity and strong violence. Currently, the film is only available in theaters. 

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