The best thing, worst thing, and main thing about the Stallone/De Niro boxing flick “Grudge Match” in about the time it takes to watch the trailer. Don’t forget to take a shot at the “Best Ever” challenge in the comments!
I’m sure somewhere in the 80s movie nerds like me were discussing who would win if Stallone’s Rocky fought De Niro’s Raging Bull. Of course I don’t think they were probably thinking they would be in their late 60s when it happened.
“Grudge Match” is the story of 2 former boxing rivals and what happens when they are convinced to fight in a rematch decades after their careers have ended. Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro play the fighters as we follow the impact it has on their family and those closest to them. You know, this is one of those movies that you go into never expecting it to work, and well, it doesn’t, but it’s closer than I thought.
There are a couple things that I genuinely liked about “Grudge Match” and one of them is named Kevin Hart who plays the promoter of the match. Now, If you aren’t sure who he is he’s this guy. and there’s a reason he’s popping up in so many movies these days. He’s a really funny dude. Honestly I think he’s the best thing about the movie. He gives an energy and life to the movie that it desperately needs, and is especially great when jabbing with the wonderful Alan Arkin. I also thought the storyline was actually pretty decent. The plot weaves in and out of the different stories nicely and there are some beautiful themes here about maturity, family, and forgiveness. The problem is for a “comedy”, other than Mr. Hart, it’s just not that funny.
and that’s a real problem in a movie like this. It weighs the movie down and makes it a bit of a slog to get to that final bout that fulfills the promise of the premise. It makes the whole thing seem dead and uninteresting for much of the time and you rarely feel like the pay offs are worth the investment. Plus De Niro and Stallone don’t really seem to have much chemistry on screen and considering their rivalry is supposed to be the centerpiece, you can see how this might be a problem. It’s not as if these two aren’t decent actors, in fact some of their stuff when they are apart hits it’s mark fairly well, but when they get on screen together it just doesn’t seem to work.
Overall “Grudge Match” is the latest example of a good pitch gone wrong. Despite some fun stuff from Kevin Hart and Alan Alda, it wastes a somewhat decent story by not being able to land it’s punchlines. My final scorecard reads C+
Thanks for checking out this Your Movie Friend review, stay tuned for this review’s “Best Ever” challenge here in bit but first, I’m going to put up some stuff you can click over in this area. If you’d like to subscribe, which I would much appreciate, you can do so by clicking the big gray subscribe button. Want to see more reviews? You can click here to see reviews for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, 47 Ronin, Wolf of Wall Street or the new Justin Bieber documentary. You can also Click the logo up here to go to yourmoviefriend.com where you can search by title for reviews. And finally this review’s “Best Ever” Challenge, where you name the best movie ever in a particular category and also try to identify my choice. What is the “the best Boxing movie ever that doesn’t involve Sylvester Stallone or Robert De Niro”. Mine may not be an obvious choice but involves a con man and a series of 10 fights. Drop your own answer and a guess at mine in the comments and first person to guess mine gets a point! Thanks and don’t forget to subscribe!