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The Last Duel (2021)

The Last Duel is a cinematic, medieval drama set in the midst of The Hundred Years’ War, a series of armed conflicts between the kingdoms of England and France during the Late Middle Ages. The Last Duel (2021) explores the ubiquitous power of men, the importance of justice and the courage of one strong woman willing to stand alone to tell her truth. Based on actual events, the film unravels France's last sanctioned duel between Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon) and Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver), two friends turned bitter rivals. When Carrouges' wife, Marguerite (Jodie Comer), is viciously assaulted by Le Gris, a charge he denies, she refuses to stay silent, stepping forward to accuse her attacker, an act of bravery and defiance that puts her life in jeopardy. The ensuing trial by combat, a grueling duel to the death shall determine their fate.


Jodie Comer’s character is a force to be reckoned with, Marguerite alone saves this story from being overtly violent, cold or uncomfortable. With several scenes of sexual assault The Last Duel (2021) is a cruel, bitter story which will leave you with a sour taste in your mouth. Although the assault in the core of the story and the catalyst for the violent, gory end, it didn’t particularly become relevant until half way in. Until that point it was a little slow and a tough story to get invested in.

The cast - The Last Duel (2021) shows some incredible performances by the whole cast. Matt Damon, Adam Driver. Jodie Comer, Ben Affleck! The whole ensemble brought a fierce energy to the feature and brought it to life. The visuals and cinematography complimented the story, it was a dark and dirty time to live, the visuals were very dark and dull, no colour, which really made the whole feel real. The assault scenes between Comer and Driver were performed and directed well, it was repetitive and reinforced the uncomfortable and disgusting act taking place. The story, although an empowering one is slightly long winded. This film didn’t need to be two hours and thirty minutes long. It was unnecessary and almost made me loose interest.

Overall, The Last Duel (2021) has a lot of exciting elements to it, the cast, the costume, the setting and atmosphere but ultimately the story. The plot itself is enticing and empowering, although it has several dark moments within it to fuel the satisfying… gruesome ending! This film delivers thrill and entertainment, although it is a heavy watch and difficult to fully invest yourself into the brutality of the characters and their actions it is still a fascinating movie to try.

Not my favourite film from last year but in no way is it a bad movie, this is definitely a show stopper. With Ridley Scott directing, this film had all the elements of a special cinematic experience, although it wasn’t particularly to my taste I appreciate the execution and I would recommend it to a specific target audience.

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Welcome to Film Probe, a platform where I have dedicated my time and energies to reviewing films, tv and more. I pride myself on offering more than just an opinion, but rather a carefully crafted insight into the film's themes, characters, and overall production.

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