Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone play two over-the-hill former boxer champions who decide to finish what they started 30 years earlier in Grudge Match. Review after the jump.
They have portrayed two of the best onscreen boxers in the history of film as Rocky Balboa and Jake Lamotta, and now Stallone and De Niro hit the ring once again to face off against each other.
Going one apiece in the 1980s, a third fight between Henry “Razor” Sharp (Stallone) and Billy “The Kid” McDonnen was scrapped when Sharp suddenly retired. Fans, critics and McDonnen himself were all disappointed. Years later, the third fight and what could have been is still being talked about on television and Dante (Kevin Hart) gets the idea to get them together in the ring again, even though both men are well past their best.
Grudge Match is a comedy film that plays on both Raging Bull and Rocky – see the scenes involving a puppet show in a club and punching meat. Most of the jokes and laughs come from the supporting cast – especially Alan Arkin and Kevin Hart, who are both on fine form.
The movie itself is nothing new (we have been here before plenty of times) but we do get some sentimental scenes courtesy of the background storyline involving Kim Basinger and Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead’s Shane). The idea for Grudge Match sounds great on paper – two aging boxing veterans relighting their grudge – but it only works for some of the time.
Although it sounds better than it actually is, Grudge Match is still a decent watch with some funny moments. Yet it doesn’t pack a huge punch.