Stallone and De Niro duke it out for laughs as a pair of long-retired and ageing boxing rivals in Grudge Match. The film is a comedy that packs a slight emotional punch thanks to the agreeable nature of its leading characters as they settle a 30-year-old score.
When Henry “Razor” Sharp (Sylvester Stallone) and Billy “The Kid” McDonnen (Robert De Niro) come out of retirement to fight one final bout, in many ways it’s a formulaic Rocky meets Raging Bull tale, taking place three decades after both have quit the ring.
Nonetheless, Grudge Match is an enjoyable treat, with director Peter Segal keeping things light-hearted.
Razor, who has been laid off from a Pittsburgh steel works, and The Kid, who is a used car salesman and restaurateur, need this last chance at glory for different reasons.
In the 1980s both had been light-heavyweight champions, each taking the title from the other, but Razor surprisingly retired before a decisive re-match could be held. Why? A woman, of course – in this case, Sally, played admirably by Kim Basinger, who drifted out of Razor’s life into an affair with The Kid.
When the elderly pugilists meet, they fight in private and a video of their fracas inadvertently goes viral. In steps wannabe promoter Dante Slate Jr (Kevin Hart), and the long-talked-about significant contest is scheduled.
The story is amiable and a tad sentimental because, in the finale, both fighters predictably come out winners. But if it’s clichéd, good, jocular fun you want, then Grudge Match is a belter.
More InDaily film reviews:
The Wolf of Wall Street
Inside Llewyn Davis
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
The Book Thief
Saving Mr Banks
August: Orange County
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Your support will help us continue the important work of InReview in publishing free professional journalism that celebrates, interrogates and amplifies arts and culture in South Australia.Donate Here