Movie Review – Grudge Match

A clash of not just Hollywood legends, but Hollywood boxing legends.

Beginning with references to both Rocky and LaMotta whilst utilizing some surprisingly not terrible CGI to freshen up the pair, we see the two fights that form the basis of the grudge. We quickly move onto to the present where Henry “Razor” Sharp (Stallone) has attempted to move on and forget his past, whilst Billy “The Kid” McDonnen (De Niro) trades on and revels in his.

After various reconciliations, revelations, and attempts to stop the fight (as well as a montage!), we’re left with what everyone going to see this will be wondering. Can these two guys pull it off? With a 70 year old Father who is still capable it’s not beyond reasonable for me that this could be an entertaining fight.

The fight itself is good enough, with the list of boxing tropes diligently worked through; even including a slo-mo punch that has blood and spit gushing from Sly’s mouth. There is no mistaking the age of the pugilists, but fortunately this is never hidden and is mentioned throughout.

I didn’t feel the comedy angle was fully committed to, with silly antics mainly embarrassing Razor and The Kid. The one exception to this is Alan Arkin. Picking up a similar roll to last years The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, he once again steals every scene he is in. Dramatic scenes were more successful, but you could easily see them coming.

Despite some decent banter Grudge Match doesn’t match up to either of these actors best, quickly becoming mired in cliché. Though it does hit the right emotional chords and at times made me chuckle, overall it just doesn’t do enough and won’t live long in the memory.

Both characters may learn something and grow from the experience, but this is no pay per view experience.

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