The first reviews for Matt Damon’s new film The Last Duel are in, and the response has been decidedly mixed.
Directed by Ridley Scott, The Last Duel is a historical drama set during the Hundred Years War, which stars Damon as a knight who fights in France’s last-ever legally sanctioned duel.
On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, The Last Duel currently holds a score of just 67 per cent, indicating that the film proved divisive with critics following its debut at the Venice Film Festival.
Here’s what some of the reviews have been saying...
The Guardian’s Jonathan Romney gave the film two stars, writing: “By the time the film gets round to showing its hand as an episode of Medieval #MeToo, it has numbed us with so much flash and fustian that the heart of the story has almost been drowned.
“Marguerite’s [Comer] story could have made a fascinating, somewhat Shavian drama if only the grandiose spectacle (and the 152-minute running time) had been stripped back. As it is, you quickly tire of the mud, metal and permanently medieval weather.”
Variety’s Owen Gleiberman described the film as “intriguing but overcooked”, and “a movie that flirts with, and sometimes falls into, an extravagant kind of costume-drama camp”.
“The accents are all over the place,” he added. “The acting teeters between the operatic and the overstated. At times, it’s like watching A Man for All Seasons meets Game of Thrones with a soupçon of Monty Python.”
Others, however, were more roundly positive about the film, with Comer’s performance in particular receiving plaudits from critics.
IndieWire’s Ben Croll wrote: “The Last Duel reveals itself as something all too rare on the current Hollywood field of battle: an intelligent and genuinely daring big budget melee that is – above all else – the product of recognisable artistic collaboration.”
Ryan Leston gave the film four stars in The Telegraph, writing: “This is Jodie Comer’s show. As first the dutiful wife, then the adulteress, and finally the woman taking on the huge responsibility of being heard, the Killing Eve star is the glue that holds the whole thing together, and the screen is never more alive than when she is on it.”
The Last Duel is out in cinemas on 15 October 2021.