English Film Review
Film: Grudge Match
Director: Peter Segal
Rating: * * ½
A sports comedy showcasing a grudge match between Billy "The Kid" McDonnen (De Niro) and Henry "Razor" Sharp (Stallone) , once upon a time, the two biggest bruisers in the Pittsburgh boxing scene. The casting basically feeds on the legend of the two stars who have played Jake La Motta and Rocky Balboa respectively and made a meal of it too! Unfortunately, this none is no match for those classics. It’s merely pedestrian !
Their fierce rivalry drawing nationwide attention, "Razor" and "The Kid" were deadlocked for victory when the former announced his retirement just before the decisive 1983 match that would have declared the supreme champion. Three decades later, enterprising boxing promoter Dante Slate Jr. (Kevin Hart) lures the aging pugilists back into the ring for the fight that everyone has been waiting for. Meanwhile, when "Razor" and "The Kid" see each other for the first time in 30 years, the cameras are rolling when tempers flare. In no time that unscheduled scuffle goes viral, prompting both fighters to resume their intensive training in a bid to deliver the knock-out blow during the highly-anticipated match.
2006's Rocky Balboa can gross over $150 million, Red and Red 2 did marginally better, ‘Expendables’ and ‘The Last Stand’ also had a major following so getting Senior citizens into the heat of action does make box-office sense. Unfortunately it does not make logical sense. Grudge's attempt to meld memorable cinematic memories into a modern match-up between ageing pugilists does not manage much of a pull.
The two stars play roles designed to recall the heroes of their earlier films. The film primarily encashes on a fight between the actors who played two of the most memorable boxers in film history, Rocky Balboa and Jake LaMotta. These actors though , are not the same age as they were when they played those famous pugilists. A 70-year-old LaMotta and a 67-year old Rocky, can only generate a modicum of enthusiasm. Two old guys beating the hell out of each is not cause for either enjoyment or great thrill. other for your enjoyment. It’s just too exploitative an idea.
Grudge match , is at best an ego boost for it’s actors and a hit shot of nostalgia for sports movie fans. The film tries hard to present a realistic portrayal of the geriatric boxing but it doesn’t score high on raw authenticity. The climactic match has been shot well but the idea of having an eventual winner in the bout between two perceived greats is just not tenable!