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Ridley Scott is incapable of making a visually gorgeous film, but when he has a script that fails to ignite and a mismatched cast, even that accounts for nothing.

Nearly 45 years after he directed duellists in his debut feature Ridley Scott returns to swords and feuds in The Last Duel, but with considerably less impact.

The climactic showdown between French knight Matt Damon and Adam Driver, the man who raped his wife Jodie Comer, is handsomely staged by the veteran director yet everything that comes before it is muddled, needlessly drawn-out and not nearly as in-sync with today's MeToo movement as it clearly wants to be.

Most of The Last Duel's flaws can be brought back to the script, which attempts a Rashomon trick by showing three different viewpoints of the events but fails to add intriguing layers or unexpected twists in each telling. Scott also never seems interesting in fully exploiting the viewpoints in his directing style, while the mostly American actors simply aren't believable as medieval French characters.

As always in a Ridley Scott film the money's all there on the screen, yet in terms of entertainment or poignancy The Last Duel ranks quite low in his oeuvre.

release: 2021

director: Ridley Scott

starring: Jodie Comer, Adam Driver, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck


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