Grudge Match is a new boxing sports film which stars Sylvester Stallone as Henry “Razor” Sharp, Robert De Niro as Billy “The Kid” McDonnen, Kim Basinger as Sally, Kevin Hart as Dante Slate Jr and Alan Arkin as Louis “Lightning” Conlon. Grudge match is directed by Peter Segal who most would know as the director of 50 First Dates (2004) or Get Smart (2008).
Grudge Match is a very lighthearted comedy film and one I think that someone should not take that seriously. It’s a movie that is a bit of fun, with some funny jokes here and there. Grudge Match has a very basic plot which is essentially about two old time boxers who have unfinished rivalries between each other, but have not spoken in years. Dante Slate Jr (Kevin Hart) appears asking if Henry “Razor” Sharp (Sylvester Stallone) would like to appear in a video game for $10,000 that would simulate his punches. Razor agrees on the condition that Billy “The Kid McDonnen (Robert De Niro) isn’t there, but that doesn’t work out. The two both show up at the same time which sparks old rivalries and a brief fight that goes viral on YouTube. Dante Slate Jr. takes advantage of the situation and sees an opportunity to make hundreds of thousands of dollars though a grudge match fight, which both fighters must train for and win. But just who will end up the winner?
The movie wouldn’t have that much depth to its plot if it were not for the added love interest in the form of that girl who got away for the character of Razor (Sylvester Stallone). Kim Basinger plays Sally who adds a little bit more to the film than just training, old people jokes and grudge match stories. There isn’t that much there in the relationship but it does help for this film to be slightly more dramatic in some parts than it otherwise would have been.
In terms of the acting I thought that Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro both did well in terms of what their roles allowed them to be, but also just in terms of the physicality of what their roles demanded for this boxing movie. Sylvester Stallone as always is good in these types of roles as he has a lot of experience with the tough guy type of role and is very entertaining to watch. De Niro provides much more comedy than Stallone and delivers as well with his physical performance. Both actors are entertaining and know how to entertain in this type of film. Kim Basinger was also good in her role, although I might of liked a little bit more from her character but she was good. Other actors like Kevin Hart are funny and had the cinema audience laughing quite a lot and so did Alan Arkin. Although I did find that Kevin Hart and Alan Arkin in particular, to get annoying towards the end as they make constant jokes that never stop.
I understand that this movie is a comedy and isn’t to be taken that seriously, but it has such a similar plot to that of the last Rocky film (Rocky Balboa 2006) which is not a comedy but one in which Sylvester Stallone appears in. For me Rocky Balboa is the superior movie as Grudge Match seems to belittle everything that the boxing characters are about. I also do know that Robert De Niro famously played a boxer in Raging Bull (1980) and seeing these actors both in Grudge Match together really doesn’t go well for their previous characters which are very similar. It’s like Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro decided to have a bit of fun and didn’t have much to do so somehow managed to get Grudge Match made.
The directing of this movie is okay from Peter Segal who’s best film I think is still 50 First Dates. In Grudge match the timing of all the jokes and the way everything was directed made the movie something entertaining to see and watch. There is also a strange use of CGI in some parts of this movie which was random and I didn’t understand its use in the film, but most people likely wouldn’t even notice at all.
Overall I wouldn’t say that Grudge Match was one of the greats in terms of film, but it’s just meant to be something entertaining and funny. Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro deliver enough with their performances to make this movie something to enjoy for most people. In the cinema I was in, so many people were laughing at so many of the jokes so I know it was good fun for some. If you’re a fan of boxing movies, or especially the Rocky films this is one you may enjoy.