Ridley Scott's Great, Underseen The Last Duel Heads To Digital This Month, 4K Blu-Ray In December

"The Last Duel" was a big box office disappointment, and I will forever be salty about that. I get it: there's still a pandemic going on, and the film's subject matter might have immediately turned off some potential viewers. But Ridley Scott's "The Last Duel" is one of the year's best films, and one of the best things Scott has done in years (and I say that as a fan of "Alien: Covenant"). While "The Last Duel" underperformed in theaters, perhaps it'll finally find a bigger audience on home video. The historical epic, which stars Matt Damon, Adam Driver, and Jodie Comer, has a home release in sight: it'll hit digital this month before arriving on 4K Blu-ray and DVD in December. I hope so, at least, because I was mightily impressed with the film when I saw it. I was particularly impressed with the clever screenplay, which presents its main story from three distinct perspectives. And I was even more impressed with a scene-stealing turn from Ben Affleck, who plays a count who just wants to get drunk and have orgies all day. 

The Last Duel Blu-ray Release

Inspired by true events, "The Last Duel" follows three characters – Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon), Marguerite de Carrouges (Jodie Comer), and Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver) – all living in France in the 1300s. Jean and Jacques start out as friends, but that friendship sours over the years. Things come to a head when Marguerite, Jean's wife, accuses Jacques of rape. In the wake of the accusations, Jean challenges Jacques to a duel to the death. This premise could've been turned into a rather straightforward medieval epic, but the script, by Nicole Holofcener, Ben Affleck, and Matt Damon, adopts a "Rashomon" approach, telling the same story from each of the three main characters' perspectives. Here's the full synopsis: 

From 20th Century Studios comes "The Last Duel," visionary filmmaker Ridley Scott's gripping tale of betrayal and vengeance set against the brutality of 14th century France. The historical epic is a cinematic and thought-provoking drama that explores the ubiquitous power of men, the frailty of justice and the strength and courage of one woman willing to stand alone in the service of truth. Based on actual events, the film unravels long-held assumptions about France's last sanctioned duel between Jean de Carrouges and Jacques Le Gris, two friends turned bitter rivals. When Carrouges' wife, Marguerite, is viciously assaulted by Le Gris, a charge he denies, she refuses to stay silent, stepping forward to accuse her attacker, an act of bravery and defiance that puts her life in jeopardy. The ensuing trial by combat, a grueling duel to the death, places the fate of all three in God's hands.

"The Last Duel" was a box office bomb, and boy does that make me bitter. People say they want original, non-superhero movies for adults – and then when one comes along, they don't bother to see it. It's frustrating. But now "The Last Duel" has its home media release on the horizon. The film arrives on digital on November 30, 2021, before heading to 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD on December 14, 2021. 

Special Features

So what special features are included with this home release? Sadly, not many! This is all that's listed:

  • The Making of The Last Duel – With the documentary "The Making of The Last Duel," get unprecedented access to renowned director Ridley Scott as he collaborates with the cast and crew to make critical decisions about location, cinematography and performances.

Again: I know this movie flopped, but I was hoping the Blu-ray release would have more to offer. Especially since this is a Ridley Scott film. Scott's films often come with extended director's cuts on home media, sometimes with great results. Hell, the director's cut of "Kingdom of Heaven" is practically a different movie. That's not to say that there won't eventually be a double-dip special edition release with more footage. For now, though, we're not getting much. But the movie itself is definitely worth checking out, and if you missed it in theaters – and there's a good chance you did – I urge you to seek out "The Last Duel" on home video.