The Last Duel

The Last Duel ★★★★

75

Ridley Scott doing what Ridley does best, but with the added benefit of a sturdy screenplay. A lavishly detailed exercise in medieval carnage and power schemes, with the petty squabbles of men ultimately weaponized to feel fruitless in comparison to the anguish of women ostracized and tormented for simply telling the truth. It's great to see a modern film structured in chapters so that it actually serves a narrative purpose, and not utilized as mere set dressing. How the characters are initially portrayed and subsequently re-shaped over the course of the run-time is really strong, too. Jodie Comer turns in a brilliant performance, and everyone else isn't far behind. And it's all captured with that trademark Expensive Ridley sheen - countless extras and farm animals scattered in nearly every frame, movie stars on location in bulky period-accurate armor, so many Major moments destined for Academy Award highlight reels etc. Too bad this was a total bomb, it's damn good!

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