As noted in the previous post, Ben Affleck is currently promoting The Way Back. When that’s done, he’ll likely return to production on The Last Duel, alongside Matt Damon. It’s scheduled to be released at Christmas which is ambitious. Because Christmas movies are either for the box office or for the Oscars. And I get it, pairing Matt and Ben onscreen together for the first time in a long time was definitely a draw…
Is it still a draw?
There’s a whole generation of us, yes, who care about Matt + Ben. I’m not sure that that generation can be counted on, though, for big wins. Pop culture is increasingly fragmented these days. This will certainly test the question we’ve been asking for a decade now: Do Movie Stars Still Matter?
And then, of course, there’s what The Last Duel is actually about – which is two dudes in French medieval times who are friends until one dude’s wife accuses the other of raping her so they decide to resolve the issue by going to combat and it’s being directed by Ridley Scott.
But maybe we shouldn’t rush to conclusions, right? Nicole Holofcener co-wrote the script with Matt and Ben. And Jodie Comer stars as Marguerite, the wife. In Villanelle we trust?
There’s time enough to debate whether or not The Last Duel will be problematic. Let’s focus instead on a problem I identified the moment this project was announced: Matt Damon in period costume. As I’ve said a few times now, some actors can do it, can slide seamlessly into any era. Matt Damon, well, look at him.
It’s not just this mullet. The mullet, obviously, is horrible. But I’m not seeing 14th century Frenchman here, are you? I’m seeing someone who’s dressed up for a costume party as a 14th century Frenchman, like as a joke.
Seriously. Are we going to be able to take him seriously in this movie?!
I’d almost rather see him back in that tragic ponytail he wore for The Great Wall. Remember that? Are we just going to pretend it never happened?