Don’t get too bogged down in the headline. It mostly applies to the first act of “The Last Duel,” in which director Ridley Scott tries to cram too many battles and banquets into the first third of the film, confusingly jumping from one to the next.
“The Last Duel” is based on a true story. It tells the tale of Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon), who accuses his erstwhile friend Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver) to a duel after Carrouges’s wife, Marguerite (Jodie Comer), accuses Le Gris of raping her.
The story is told in three parts; from de Carrouges’ perspective, from Le Gris’ perspective, and from Marguerite’s perspective. It’s an interesting way to go about examining the events in question, in addition to that of the inherent flaws of one’s own recollection. However, there a fine line between portraying subtle differences in the three distinct memories and the flat-out redundancy of portraying the same plot three times over.
Fortunately, the second and third acts are far tighter and more cleanly edited than the first, more than making up for the film’s biggest weakness. While Scott’s inevitable Shaky Camera Close-upsTM during the battle sequences won’t do anything to stir any emotion, seeing Matt Damon, Adam Driver, Jodie Comer, and Ben Affleck ply their trade on the silver screen together is still worth the price of admission.