The Last Duel

The Last Duel ★★★★

Ridley Scott’s latest film The Last Duel finally hit theaters and while it’s not the director’s best movie, it is an excellent one. 

From a technical point of view the film is flawless. Dariusz Wolski’s gorgeous cinematography, Harry Gregson-Williams’ score, the production design, the costumes and the makeup, all takes you back in the 14th century. Ridley Scott still manages to direct movies with such care and attention to detail, that not many are able to.

The performances are fantastic all around. Matt Damon and Adam Driver completely disappear in their roles, Ben Affleck as a quirky leader was entertaining to watch but for me the absolute highlight was Jodie Comer. She outshines everybody everytime she appears on screen. After Free Guy and now this, I’m sure she will be a big deal very soon. 

The action, though there is not much, was immersive. The battle sequences felt raw, like I was on the battlefield with the soldiers and the duel at the end looked realistic and had actual emotional stakes to it. 

The problems lie in the story structure. Without spoilers, it demands a lot of patience and sometimes can feel a bit repetitive. On the other hand, the way some scenes were edited together, everything felt rushed, like we we’re jumping from plot points to plot point. And while the story does a good job portraying the cruel, masculine society of medieval times and tells a very inspiring, empowering and relevant story about standing up for yourself, there wasn’t anything particularly unique about the presentation. 

Overall, The Last Duel a great movie. The top notch performances, Ridley Scott’s meticulous direction, the technical aspects and the relevant story and messages make it worth checking it out, though the repetitive storytelling and a bit long runtime holds it back from being THE next historical epic.

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