By on 2 January, 2014

GRUDGE MATCH (2013) Movie Review

Stallone and De Niro – playing boxers. It’s certainly not a new idea. In fact, it’s pretty damn old, and that’s the whole point of ‘GRUDGE MATCH‘. The two powerhouse actors come together in a hilarious film which does a wonderful dance between real and fiction for two solid hours.

I had mediocre expectations of this movie. Even though the previews depict some very comedic opportunities, I wasn’t sure if the film’s premise would float like a butterfly or sting like a bee. However, the script and casting delivers a solid one-two punch for entertainment.

The story of ‘GRUDGE MATCH‘ involves two rival boxers, HenryRazorSharp (Stallone) and BillyThe KidMcDonnen, who have unfinished business. Thirty years prior to the film’s beginning, the characters were scheduled for a greatly anticipated rematch, which Razor cancelled suddenly. This, and another unresolved conflict between them, has tormented them both to the extent that neither has moved forward in their lives.

When an aspiring fight promoter, Dante Slate Jr. (Kevin Hart), proposes the boxers suit up to film a video game based on their rivalry, all hell breaks loose, and the two are finally provoked enough out of retirement to reschedule the ancient rematch.



What makes the movie so much fun is the script never takes itself too seriously. There are numerous references to ‘Rocky‘ and ‘Raging Bull‘ for the savvy cinema-goer, including a scene involving the consumption of nearly a half-dozen raw eggs. Also, it integrates numerous appearances by real sports celebrities. My favourite one-liner takes place when one of Kid’s trainers makes a joke about his “man boobs” as Kid is attempting to recover his lost physique at the gym: “Your boobs. They bounce when you jump. It’s like a bad Baywatch.”

Stallone stays steadfast with his deadpan ‘what you see is what you get’ acting performance, while De Niro explodes on the screen. Also deserving of accolades are: Kim Basinger, Alan Arkin and LL Cool J. But, the real scene stealer is Kevin Hart . This comedian is well on his way to becoming a Hollywood superstar. His hysterical delivery of lines matched with the publicity stunts his character creates to generate interest in the fight equal non-stop brilliance.


Sylvester Stallone and Kim Basinger in GRUDGE MATCH - Film Review

A special treat for me was seeing the film in my family’s US hometown Pittsburgh, where ‘GRUDGE MATCH‘ is set. It’s another comedic element for the film because it’s a metropolis known for nearly every sport except boxing – consider the Pittsburgh Steelers (American football), Penguins (ice hockey) and Pirates (baseball).

Regardless of where you choose to see ‘GRUDGE MATCH‘, you will laugh and enjoy. However, you must accept the idea that it features two nearly 70-year-old men (sans shirts) getting in a boxing ring together to settle their score.

Directed by Peter Segal, ‘GRUDGE MATCH‘ is out now in cinemas across the U.S., and it will be released in the UK on the 24th January, 2014.


About Melanie Todd

Melanie Todd has lived in Florida, New York and London. She has experience with NBC News and Universal Studios. Currently, she is in the US preparing for a move back to London, where she hopes to work in entertainment publicity/public relations. Melanie enjoys running and drinking wine, but of course, not at the same time. Follow her on TWITTER @MelanieTheRep and visit her blog at www.WhatTheRepShouldDo.com

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  1. Pingback: Movie Review: ‘GRUDGE MATCH’ is a total knockout! | What The Rep Should Do

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