A Highly-Rated Matt Damon Flop Is A Hit On Streaming

By Douglas Helm | 4 months ago

matt damon

If you haven’t caught The Last Duel, the latest film from the legendary director Ridley Scott, now’s your chance to join the many people who have been streaming it this week. Though the Matt Damon movie didn’t rake in the dollars at the box office, it’s been doing incredibly well on HBO Max as it’s currently sitting at the weekly number two spot for most-streamed on the platform.

The Last Duel is based on the book The Last Duel: A True Story of Trial by Combat in Medieval France, which itself is based on the real-life event of the last officially sanctioned duel in France. The film stars Matt Damon, Adam Driver, Jodie Comer, and Ben Affleck. In the movie, Marguerite de Carrouges (Jodie Comer), accuses the noble and squire Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver) of sexual assault. Sir Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon), a brave and respected knight and husband of Marhuerite, then challenges his squire to a duel. The story follows the perspective of each character in three separate chapters before culminating in the fated duel.

The Last Duel, like most movies that have been released in the last couple of years, saw a few release delays that may have changed up the marketing plans for the Matt Damon movie. First, it had to push filming back for nearly half a year, and then it had to push its theatre release back. It ended up premiering at the Venice Film Festival in September of 2021 and was released to theatres just over a month later. The movie ended up being a financial flop, only grossing $30.6 million against a budget of $100 million. The movie also marked the worst opening of Ridley Scott’s career. Luckily, it seems like it has found a new life on streaming, where audiences are finally seeing Ben Affleck and Matt Damon team-up on screen again.

matt damon last duel

Despite the financial flop, the movie is actually being well-received by critics and audiences alike. On Rotten Tomatoes it currently holds an 85% critic score and an 81% audience score. Many of the reviews agree that Jodie Comer anchors the film with her performance, and Matt Damon, Adam Driver, and Ben Affleck bring their own nuance, subtlety, and talent to their roles. All around it’s a solid acting effort from all involved and the directing by Scott is predictably great as always. Essentially, if you like historical epics and period pieces, then you’ll probably enjoy The Last Duel.

Another interesting piece of trivia about The Last Duel is the fact that it was written by Nicole Holofcener, Ben Affleck, and Matt Damon. Though Affleck and Damon are good friends, they actually haven’t written a script together since the 1997 film Good Will Hunting, which they both starred in as well. Waiting over two decades to write another script would be a long time for any duo, but it’s especially long considering the immense success of their first effort. Good Will Hunting earned nine Academy Award nominations and ended up netting the Best Original Screenplay trophy, showing the strength of their script. Of course, the late, great Robin Williams took home one of those nominations for Best Supporting Actor.

ben affleck last duel streaming

But even a star-studded cast, a powerhouse director, and a script from Oscar-winners couldn’t turn this Matt Damon movie into a box office hit. With the renewed interest in streaming platforms, it seems like audiences definitely have an interest in checking it out, just not in theaters. There may be a number of reasons why that was. One could be that the film happened to be competing with the last Daniel Craig James Bond effort No Time to Die. When you’re going up against a hugely successful franchise, it’s going to be hard to draw audiences away. People likely are picky about which films they risk going to theatres for, and they’re going to be more likely to pick a safe bet rather than a new property.

Audiences can now watch The Last Duel from the comfort of their own home. Though it might not net Matt Damon and Ben Affleck as many Oscar nominations as their first writing effort together, there is talk of it having the potential to be up for some awards. If you’re in the mood for a thoughtful and moody period drama, you can stream The Last Duel on HBO Max today and make the judgment for yourself.