I went to see The Last Duel on opening weekend with very low expectations. “You’re not my real dad,” I thought to myself during the opening minutes, as Matt Damon and Adam Driver faced off on the jousting field. “You’ll never be A Knight’s Tale (2001).” But by the end of the two-and-a-half-hour movie (as it turns out, the last duel is a long duel) I was thoroughly entertained. Yes, it’s dark and at times a tough watch, but Ridley Scott’s film is fascinating, complex, and immaculately rendered. And while there are no rousing musical numbers like A Knight’s Tale, it does share one notable similarity to the 2001 anachronistic cult classic: an overwhelming number of wild hairstyling choices, the reasoning behind which are truly beyond me. Are they historically accurate? No. Are they stylish or flattering? Also no.
It’s best if you just see for yourself. Join me in an attempt to rank the horrific, hilarious hair of The Last Duel.
8. Pierre d’Alencon (Ben Affleck)
You know that tweet that’s like “Ben Affleck should not be in period pieces, his face looks like it knows what phones are”? This haircut not only knows what phones are, it slides into your Instagram DMs with fire emojis. This is medieval Machine Gun Kelly—Broad Sword Kelly? War Hammer Kelly? Halberd Kelly? I’ll workshop it. This haircut and bleached blond coloring does not belong in this time period or in this movie. It is absurd and wonderful. Ten out of 10, last place. I refuse to address the goatee.
7. Sir Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon)
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise: Matt Damon’s medieval mullet is the true villain of this film. It’s giving knighthood in the front, serfdom in the back. It is impossible to capture the nuances of this haircut in one screenshot—you think you’ve processed it from every angle and then he turns and oh god there’s another tuft of hair coming from seemingly nowhere. The tiny baby bangs are trimmed meticulously; the undercut is so close he must get his edges shaped up every few weeks. And yet the back is a lawless land that has not seen a comb since the Treaty of Paris. Matt’s goatee is slightly better than Ben’s, considering it does look like it’s actually sprouting from his own face, but the bar is on the floor. I personally am prepared to duel whoever chose to inflict this hairstyle upon the world.
6. Marguerite de Carrouges’s Giant Braid (Jodie Comer)
This is Jodie’s first and last hairstyle of the film—simple, boring, but probably effective if used as a weapon. Maybe that was Plan B, if the duel didn’t go her way.
5. King Charles VI (Alex Lawther)
This movie dares to ask the important questions: What if King Joffrey from Game of Thrones was a French brunette with no access to anti-frizz products? Voilà, we have King Charles VI, a little shithead who cackles in delight at every declaration of violence or spray of blood. His hair is difficult to capture in pictures as well, but if you look closely, it’s wildly lopsided—the curls rise up over the right side of his crown into a sort of tufted frizz mountain. You genuinely hate to see it (and, clearly, so does his wife).
4. Marguerite de Carrouges’s Boho Pinterest Waves (Jodie Comer)
Comer wears several hairstyles in this movie that look like they came straight from a 2013 wedding inspo Pinterest board. She’s got the textured waves, the disheveled twists, the mini braids, the face-framing curls. This version has the added benefit of entirely covering her ears, which is helpful when trying to tune out the bullshit that the men around her are constantly spewing in her direction.
3. Mysterious Silver Streak Guy
I can’t believe I’m telling you not to look at Harriet Walter for once in my life, but the star of this jousting sideline is the mysterious, unnamed man with the absolutely sick silver streak in his hair. No one in this movie has a stronger look. He is giving me everything. The only reason he’s not in first place is because he appears for about 10 total seconds while watching the duel and bears no narrative importance to the film. Who is this man, and how did he escape the hair crimes being carried out all around him?
2. Marguerite de Carrouges’s Princess Leia Cosplay (Jodie Comer)
Would you believe that this hairstyle launched the entire conflict of this film? That Adam Driver’s character took one look at these mega braids and decided he would perish without the love of the tiny face nestled between them? (OK, actually? It’s Jodie Comer, so yes, it’s believable.) Several women in this film seem partial to this double-braided hairstyle, including the queen, who we can probably blame for their popularity. None of us are immune to the misguided hair trends of our time—remember Bump-Its?—so Jodie gets a pass for this, and pulls it off better than anyone else. Plus, she added little pearls to hers, and we do love an accessory moment.
1. Jacques le Gris (Adam Driver)
I’m so sorry. I know you came here to look at hilariously bad hair, but only one person in this movie gave us historical accuracy, style, and genuine uninterrupted flow, and that’s Adam Driver. There’s something about the way this guy stomps around a movie set that’s made for long hair, and therefore he’s the only person in this movie who appears to be in his natural state. Adam’s beard is well groomed, his waves are perfectly tousled. … He’s in his pandemic curls era and he’s giving me Jon Snow meets Robert Pattinson in The King. I have no notes.