The Ridley Scott-directed film “The Last Duel” is finally available for streaming on HBO Max.
The medieval drama features an all-star cast of Matt Damon, Adam Driver, Jodie Comer, and Ben Affleck.
The film tells the story of sexual assault in three different acts, from three different perspectives. Carrouges (Damon) marries a woman named Marguerite (Comer) that Le Gris (Driver) becomes smitten with. After Le Gris assaults her, she publicly accuses him, which results in Carrouges and Le Gris engaging in a trial by combat and a fight to the death.
“The Last Duel” debuted in theaters on October 15, 2021, but failed to perform at the box office. The film only made $10 million at the domestic box office – and $27 million internationally – against a production budget of $100 million.
Ridley blamed “apathetic millenials” and “cell phones” for the film’s poor reception.
“I think what it boils down to — what we’ve got today [are] the audiences who were brought up on these f—ing cellphones,” he said. “The millennian [sic] do not ever want to be taught anything unless you’re told it on a cellphone.”
He continued, “This is a broad stroke, but I think we’re dealing with it right now with Facebook. This is a misdirection that has happened where it’s given the wrong kind of confidence to this latest generation, I think.”
Although many were critical of Scott’s response, his film is now available for streaming. So what do critics and audiences think? Is it worth a watch?
What Do Critics Think Of ‘The Last Duel’?
Although it didn’t perform at the box office, “The Last Duel” scored a certified fresh rating of 85% on Rotten Tomatoes and an audience score of 81%.
Esther Zuckerman of Thrillist, wrote, “It’s a strange, long horror-comedy about how women in the 14th century were at the mercy of dudes who were vain, petty, and cruel, only concerned with their own status even when someone’s life is at stake.”
Sandra Hall of the Sydney Morning Herald wrote, “Scott has never shied away from the more gruesome aspects of whatever story he happens to be telling and this time the savagery is extreme, clanking armour and all.”
Peter Rainer of FilmWeek wrote, “It’s not the most visually explosive film that Ridley Scott has ever made, given the fact that he is such a visual stylist, but it does have a certain thudding power to it that accumulates over time.”
Kristy Puchko of Mashable wrote, “There’s no way you could predict how joltingly funny and unnervingly entertaining Scott and his incredible team have managed to make something so regal, so grisly, and so bleak.”
However, some critics weren’t wooed by the film, with Mark Feeney of the Boston Globe saying the movie “might work better as a silent film.”
Mark Kermode of the Observer wrote, “The Last Duel has a tendency to mirror its central battle’s attempts to address complex issues with the blunt tool of rabble-rousing spectacle.”
Richard Brody of the New Yorker called the film “a wannabe #MeToo movie, the cavalier abuse of experience at six centuries’ remove.”
What Do Audiences Think Of The Film?
Many fans enjoyed the movie, with one fan calling it “epic.”
“Brilliant and highly nuanced, thought-provoking movie that carefully dissects the meaning of truth as a result of perspectives – which again are the result of power, gender, societal structures, norms, and expectations,” another wrote. “Brilliant – but probably too brilliant for average moviegoers!”
“The Last Duel was a nice surprise considering it ‘bombed’ at the box office,” another fan wrote. “I really wish more people would see this movie as it is quite good.”
“I can’t say enough about how well the cast performed in every role in this film,” they continued. “It’s a very gripping story that, though repetitive at times, remains interesting as I found myself searching for details and differences in the perspectives of the main characters. The events in The Last Duel are very stressful as there are real dire consequences for the Carrouges which makes the last bit of the film so intense. More people need to see this movie. Do it.”
Other fans felt that the movie was too long, especially since many of the scenes were repeated from the perspective of three different characters.
“Little drawn out from looking at events from 3 different people’s experiences,” another wrote. “And a lot of the events were the same.”
“The Last Duel” is currently available to stream on HBO Max.