Review: ‘The Last Duel’ is a dude filled drama that doesn’t quite work out of its female perspective


Ridley Scott is one of the best directors you can have at the helm of a historical action thriller, but a little shaky when it comes to the medieval #MeToo story.

“The Lost Duel” (rated four; rated; Friday in theaters) is an ambitious medieval epic that is expanding and intimate, with well-written stories about two 14th-century frenemy knights (played by Matt Damon) and a daring wife (Jody Comer) ) And the allegation of sexual harassment told the “Rashoman” style through various perspectives. This is a show for Comer, but when her Lady Margarita has the chance to tell her last story, it is hard to bring back the attention of two anonymous unreliable narrators who have never tried to outdo each other.

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French Knight Jean de Carroges (Damon), Then, from the perspective of Marguerite, before the closing chapter, Squire Jack Le Gris (Driver) —when co-written by successive co-screenwriters Damon, Ben Affleck and Nicole Holofsener.

“Lost Duel” begins and it is thrown back to 1360, when Jean and Jacques fought against England. Jean is a wounded, proud and ornate soldier of Normandy, who finds the disgusting boredom of Native Lord Count Pierre de Allenson (Affleck), the cousin of King Charles VI (Alex Lauther) – a man according to the wise and arrogant Jax. Jacques and the counting tendency toward a property lawsuit threaten to be between two friends. Jean marries an educated and handsome Margaret, whose father (Nathaniel Parker) is labeled a traitor, and Jean and Jacques after trying to fix the fence.

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Former friends Jacques Le Grice (Adam Driver, left) and Jean de Carroges (Matt Damon) meet in Ridley Scots for a fatal trial

That is, until Jeanne dies in battle and returns home and Margaret accuses Jacques of raping her in his absence, although Squire denies any wrongdoing. More provoked by his arrogance than the shock of his wife, Jean takes the matter locally to Pierre and then to the King, who accepts a trial through war, where God decides who is telling the truth.

With its story structure, “The Last Duel” is a fantastic character study of toxic masculinity and self-egoism. The way Jean sees the world, everyone tries to bring down this good warrior but at least his loyal wife is loyal to him. And in the eyes of Jacques, though his borish friendJean was a respectable man, because Margaret smiled a couple of times that she wanted to take it on herself. However, as we spend more time getting into the minds of these two narcissistic men, when we finally get Marguerite’s clear-eyed situation and all the players, it’s a little late.

Ben Affleck plays French baron Count Pierre de Allenon, who loves to party and has no patience for boring knights

At least “The Last Duel” gives Comer a chance to shine, first as Marguerite’s version sees two men and then in her own story altogether. Margaret spends her life telling the truth about what happened to her – this was a time when rape was seen as a property crime rather than a personal crime, because men were considered the owners of their wives – and the story tries overall but fails to capture modern relevance, giving Comer a good and multifaceted turn.

Both Damon and Driver are hardened as friends-foils, while Affleck Parti-Harty Pierre (who seems to have written himself the most entertaining character in the film) can be seen as a tricky and mercenary teen king.

“The Last Duel” has mixed results as a drama of social consciousness, but as a hardcore period action film, it is brutally effective at Scott’s “Gladiator” level. The battle scenes are bad but blurry compared to the central final duel, the marvelous tense and bone-breaking relationship that engulfs the film even though Marguerite is sidelined as the true hero of the story.

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