Movie Review: The Last Duel


The new movie “The Last Duel” marks the first time Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have written a screenplay together since “Good Will Hunting”, released in 1997 and won both of them the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 1998. I recently saw both Affleck and Damon on a talk show, talking about the arduous and long task of writing Good Will Hunting. According to Damon, the process took years of learning how to create a great screenplay, and over 1000 pages of trial and error. This is what it takes to create a great screenplay, which is why so few have been written. It took of all people, Harvey Weinstein to bring Good Will Hunting to the screen with his money and clout – unfortunately.

The story behind The Last Duel happened in the 1380’s in France. Amazingly this story is about a duel to the death over a woman, due to a he said – she said – over a alleged rape of a French Soldier’s wife and his best friend. This story is told in 3 parts, reminding me of a weak episode of a sitcom where 3 perspectives of a story are told almost as if the writers had trouble coming up with a teleplay that week. How and why Damon and Affleck found this obscure story from so long ago and then agreed to go through the hardships of writing and then filming a movie like this in the depressing dark French countryside for months, is the most unlikely part about this film. Then add highly respected director Ridley Scott who directed this movie that like so many films was halted in mid production during the Pandemic of 2020.

I am very surprised by the relatively high 86% ratings on Rotten Tomatoes for this film, despite the good acting including relative newcomer Jodie Comer, who plays Damon’s wife. There are too many areas of slow moving boredom that in some cases can offset the good parts of this film and I did not like the 3 part perspective idea, repeating too many areas of this story. For me, the essential problem is that the overall idea here is not big enough or compelling enough to make a movie about it. The final duel scene is impressive between Adam Driver and Matt Damon, and I was surprised at the relatively small role for Ben Affleck, who plays a King who constantly cheats on his wife.

I rank this movie as a marginal thumbs up, mainly for fans of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.

Movie Review: Stillwater


The new movie “Stillwater” is one of the few movies I have seen where the trailer makes it look like a high quality blockbuster, but in realty the film is a huge dud. The problem with Stillwater is simple. Its horrendously boring. Why the producer of this bad movie decided to make it run 2 hours and 20 minutes, with the story could be told in 80 minutes is anyone’s guess. The logline of this movie is about a construction worker is living in France while trying to get his daughter out of prison for a murder she did not commit. The problem is there is so little story to tell here, that they decided to add so much filler to stretch the runtime to 260 minutes, that you can actually go into a coma sitting through this incredibly boring waste of way over two hours.

There is a side story where the main character Bill, played by Matt Damon becoming involved with a French actress and her 9 year old daughter, but even this secondary story is another extreme waste of time. Bill’s daughter who is in a French prison is played by Abigaile Breslin. I am actually surprised that both Damon and Breslin read this script and still decided to make this bad movie.

The Rotten Tomatoes rating of 72% is wrong. This movie is 60% at best and should be skipped by all.