|Image from: geektyrant.com|
Grudge Match tells the story of Henry “Razor” Sharp and Billy “The Kid” Mcdonnen, two former boxing rivals who nearly thirty years after a cancelled boxing match are enticed back into the ring to prove once and for all who the better fighter is.
There’s a scene which happens pretty early on where Razor is contemplating whether or not to fight and decides to do so based on the mountain of unpaid bills that clutter his kitchen table. I imagine the exact same thing happening in real life when Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro were approached to do this film as a decent pay cheque is the only reason I can see why they agreed to do this truly dull piece of film.
Sure it has a few chuckles here and there but for the majority of the films duration I couldn’t help but find my eyes start to glaze over due to the sheer boredom of what was going on on-screen. The script is virtually non-existent with the same jokes being returned to over and over again without much progression in story.
The fighters are old, we get it. They hate each other with a passion, we get it. Scene after scene we basically get different variations of the same dialogue with “jokes” that just feel flat and lazy.
It tries to throw in some plot with a love triangle story involving the two rivals and the woman they’ve both slept with but it’s handled so poorly I didn’t care about any of the characters at all and just found myself itching for them to get to the fighting so I could just go home. When they do finally face each other, the fight is so underwhelming that the film doesn’t even have a satisfying ending.
What’s more frustrating for me is that I love the Rocky films. Sometimes people can forget that Stallone can actually write really well when he wants to and the final Rocky film deals with the premise of an old age boxer much better than Grudge Match ever does. I couldn’t help but think all the way through this film that I’d much rather be watching a new Rocky film, perhaps the Creed film that’s apparently in the pipeline which would follow Rocky training Creeds son, over this rubbish.
I feel embarrassed for everybody involved in this. Stallone and De Niro just go through the motions and it’s painful to watch. Kevin Hart who plays the instigator in getting these two to fight is just plain annoying.
They are the least of the films problems though. It’s boring, pointless and resorts to cheap laughs to try and impress. The people I saw this with laughed maybe once in Grudge Match, perhaps they fell asleep. Don’t bother with this one, stay home and watch Rocky or Raging Bull again instead.