Grudge Match (2013)
Billy ‘The Kid’ McDonnen and Henry ‘Razor’ Sharp are two retired boxers. The Kid has never let it go that Razor retired from the sport right before the big grudge match. Time and age haven’t squashed the hate the two has-beens still feel for one another. Razor has a beef with The Kid cause he stole his girl and The Kid just can’t let the past be the past. So at the instance of Dante Jr., kid to their former promoter, they take their aggression out in one last big fight – Grudgement Day! Starring Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone, Jon Bernthal, Kim Basinger, Kevin Hart, Alan Arkin, Steffie Grote, Nicole Andrews, Paul Ben-Victor, Camden Gray.
Grudge Match is one of the many films lately that was made for aging stars but doesn’t live up to the standards they set as actors in their youth. There seem to be a lot of films lately that cater to the silver-haired crowd. Last Vegas, Stand Up Guys, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Quartet and even Red 2 are all movies that feature or are written for the older generation of actors. Don’t get me wrong I appreciate their talent but there are times where you wonder what the point is. Grudge Match is one of those movies that without the older Stallone and De Niro it probably wouldn’t have been made. So then why make it? Really it’s not super funny or even very entertaining. It has moments of comedy, mostly as they poke fun at themselves for being old. Go figure! Really though the story is slow and unimaginative. It doesn’t bring anything new to the genre. The jokes are either corny or not funny. Sure I laughed some but not enough to make up for the rest of the movie. I will say, Alan Arkin offers up some good laughs…thank goodness. That is it though. There isn’t much to it. It is just two older actors playing their respective parts and that is exactly what it feels like, especially for Stallone who has seen his fair share of boxing related movies. Maybe I am missing it but I just don’t see the point.
5/10 Stars – Like its two aging stars, it has glimmers of greatness but ultimately they fade away
On the surface, Grudge Match looks like a couple of old guys trying to make some money with a movie that really isn’t that special or unique. However, after I watched it, I felt a little bit like I did after a saw another movie recently full of a bunch of old guys goofing off; Last Vegas. Sure this movie isn’t going to turn heads or have people talking, but the movie isn’t simply 2 childish men who just want to settle a 30-year-old feud. Both men have demons in their past. Both men have issues facing them in the present. Both men have a strong hatred towards each other, but they also have a strong connection that keeps them linked. Just like in Last Vegas, I expected this movie to be dumb, drab and simple, and I was gladly surprised with the multiple layers it had. It is sweet and heartfelt and I don’t see many people coming out of this movie saying “I hated it.” As I was sitting in the theater watching Grudge Match, I thought to myself, “I get Stallone in this because of Rocky, but why De Niro?” Then it dawned on me – Raging Bull. The 2 actors who starred in the 2 biggest boxing movies EVER are in a movie together about boxing… I mean, it can’t hurt to give it a shot. Go in with a light heart and you will be surprised!
7/10 Stars – Might not be anything new, but it is sweet and something light-hearted to enjoy.
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