Razor (Sylvester Stallone) and The Kid (Robert De Niro) were two boxing rivals and greats from Pittsburgh. They has each won one match against each other. The third match didn't happen because Razor quit boxing and eventually went to work in the steel mills. The Kid went on to become a successful business man. The film makes Razor the good guy and The Kid the bad guy. Sally ( Kim Basinger ) was the reason for rift that existed between the two boxers. Years later Razor needs money and is offered money for the match which he reluctantly accepts.
The film slightly builds off their old boxing movies, but is hardly a spoof. In fact that was the best part of the film, and they opted to limit it. The script was as unconvincing as "Last Vegas" with both comedies having too much drama.
Shot in Pittsburgh. Recommend as a decent rental.
Parental Guide: 1 f-bomb. Implied sex. No nudity.
Implausibility aside, I really enjoyed this. I found it very funny, sometimes touching and thought that the boxing segments were well staged. Although I did wince a couple of times at the thought of two pensioners knocking lumps out of each other. The two leads work well with a sensitive and engaging script which plays to their on screen strengths and the relatively high regard enjoyed by the memory of their great boxing movies of yesteryear. Stallone gets to be the wounded, sensitive hero whilst DeNiro is the equally wounded, but slightly arrogant opponent. The story revolves around two ex champs who are called in to do some green screen CGI work on the latest console boxing game; a timing mix up has them arrive at the same time and an old arguement flares resulting in a fight. The media furore ends with the match of the title being organised.
There are some convaluted relationship aspects to the screenplay which also affords enough screen time for Kim Bassinger to outclass many other actresses leaving me to wonder why she doesn't appear on screen more often. Kevin Hart and Alan Arkin provide ample smiles and a lovely joke about an ageing trainer called lightning.
This could've been seen as silly, or horrible even, but for me, it manages to walk a fine line between gentle drama and sports movie and I found its subtle charms very easy to appreciate.
Thirty years have past since Henry 'Razor' Sharp'(Sylvester Stallone) and 'Billy 'The Kid' McDonnen'
(Robert De Niro) faced each other in the ring, the score stands at one apiece.
There 'History' between them, they certainly don't care for each other, after a scuffle that had been
filmed on a camera-phone hits the 'web' a lot of interest is generated.
The two are offered big-bucks to have a overdue re-match, by boxing promoter 'Dante Slate' who will
promote the meet as a 'Grudge-Match.
'Razor' really needs the cash, bills have piled-up, while 'Billy' just wants to be ahead of the count\....
so the fight is on.
'Dante' (Mason Mackie) will have to raise public awareness so the meeting isn't played out in an
empty arena, no audience, no money.
These guys are seriously out of condition, their training schedules bring plenty of ''light'' moments
to proceedings, 'Billy' eventually enlists the help of 'B.J' the son he'd known little about until now,
'Razor' relies on old friend and mentor 'Louis 'Lightning' Conlon' to put him through his paces.
Their past in the shape of 'Sally' (Kim Basinger) is back in both fighters lives, for different reasons,
however in different ways her presence will enrich both their lives.
Screen legends 'Robert De Niro' and 'Sylvester Stallone' role back the years, both having starred
in 'Boxing-movies' many moons ago, it seems, 'Sly' in the 'Rocky' series of course, 'De Niro' in
Though there are no Oscars to be won the film is an entertaining watch, with many moments of
humour along the way, and of course the 'Fight' itself, which visually is pretty impressive considering
the ages of our two 'Stars'
'Don't miss the take-outs at the end of the film.
Well worth a spin.
Special Features -
More Hilarious moments with 'Kevin Hart' -
in the ring with 'Kevin Hart' - 'Kevin Hart' unedited.
Legends of the Ring - featuring 'Tyson' and 'Holyfield' - Blow by Blow with 'Larry Holmes'
Plus - an alternative opening and two alternative endings.....plus - More.
on 13 October 2014
I haven't enjoyed grumpy old men like this for a long time- and they do it well as seasoned veterans- these guys are older than most of us but show in a time when most news isn't cheering anyone up, that they are prepared to get back into shape and give everyone something to cheer about- they say- have hope. We want to have something to believe in like the big guy who gets retrenched from the Steel mill to end up as a waiter- and says to Razor, we want to believe in a winner....something we can back...
And so, the humour is there and unusually for Stallone, he actually does have a persona beyond being a boxer- and talks a fair amount in a more complicated role perhaps than we are used to- he literally shows his blind spot......
Remember the inspiration the First Rocky movie had for a young generation coming out of bad recession- here was a guy who was unknown- down on his luck, living on the streets- backed by nobody but with the inbred spirit, like his film- to fight on no matter what the odds against him- he inspired many then and shows here he can still do it 30 years later. De Niro is as always, a man who absorbs his role like a second skin- he is a brilliant actor no matter what. Great movie- watch it. Sorry I didn't get mine from Amazon- the exchange rate and shipping are just too prohibitive.
on 30 December 2014
It's interesting how the poster cover depicts this film. De Niro Vs. Stallone... go on have a look at the picture of the cover again... do you see it at the top? and below both actors, gloves on, leaning on the ropes like two old boxers have a chat. If ever there was a poster of a film that gave the heads-up there's a lot more going on here than meets the eye The Grudge Match's poster does this.
The reason I wanted to watch The Grudge Match is because this film is Art mimicking Life, Life mimicking Art. Sylvester Stallone made his name depicting a fictional boxer, Rocky Balboa, in the very first Rocky movie. Robert De Niro, five years later, got a massive boost as an actor for his depiction of a real boxer, Jake LaMotta, in Raging Bull. Both films premiered over 30 years ago, Rocky in 1976 and Raging Bull in 1980. The Grudge Match, 2013, is about two Old ex-boxers with a 30 year old grudge to settle. One could almost imagine Rocky and Jake LaMotta holding such a grudge, and more so, what The Grudge Match does is play on this mix of reality and fiction. In story structure its good though a bit clichéd, however to keep in mind that its clichéd because of what came before it, its hidden heritage/pedigree, something which many of its critics fail to appreciate. In entertainment and anticipation its brilliant and in giving you the opportunity to watch two aged actors present their matured acting skills in juxtaposition to similar roles they played as young actor? genius. Oh and before you ask, yes Sylvester Stallone really is a great actor and screen writer, despite all the Rambo stuff he did. Rocky was nominated for 10 Oscars and won 3 of them and 2 of those nominations went to Stallone for best actor and best original screen play, he was only 30 years old at the time. Raging Bull was nominated for 8 Oscars she won 2 awards, best editing and best actor, the latter went to De Niro.
I have to confess I couldn't help smiling throughout this film. The play it made on blending reality and fiction is simply brilliant. This is a film that one savour over the years and if you haven't watch Rocky or Raging Bull make the effort, you will truly appreciate all three films individually and together.
Five stars because The Grudge Match is more than a movie...
on 2 December 2014
"IT'S ROCKY VERSUS RAGING BULL" is the press tag line on the bag of the Blu-ray box. Why did all the critics rely on this alone? It's not any of those films, especially Raging Bull because while being a truly great film, Bull is an ugly film filled with not very nice characters. And it's a true story. Grudge Match is not Rocky either. Grudge Match is a comedy drama. Sly plays his character quite straight while DeNiro plays his charecter, funny and angry at the same time which he is always very good at. I think that maybe this is because Sly, bless him, can't do full on comedy in a film really. Yeah, he is great at the classic one liners but pure comedy he can not do. Do I really have to bring it up? "Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot"! I'll say no more and shut it out of my mind. A quick coffesion though, I do own a DVD copy of that film but have not seen it since it came out on VHS. I am a huge Stallone fan and it's in his body of work after all so it's has to stay.
The story in Grudge Match is very simple. Old boxing rivals that come out of retirement to settle a score with a bit of a love interest mixed in. No the love interest comes in the shape of Kim Basinger as Slys ex who played hide the sausage with DeNiro back in the day but ends up back with Sly many years after having DeNiros kid now all grown up played by Jon Bernthal anw helping train his dad for the fight. You may have seen Bernthal in The Wolf Of Wall Street. Another amazing film. I think DeNiro should have been in that. What do you reakon?
I think Grudge Match is an inoffensive, harmless, simple and great little film. The stuck up arty film critics took it all too seriously. No surprise there then! I am not the biggest fan of the critics and do not give two s**ts what they say about most films. They seem to be more interested in how witty and intelligent they can make themselves sound. What about the entertainment value of a film or just the fact average folks like us may just like watching films with our favourite movie stars in. I did see this film at the cinema as soon as it came out and could not wait to get the Blu-ray. It's rare I go to the flicks theses days because of the shell suit wearing morons that ruin it for everyone, constantly running up and down the stairs and up dating face f**king book. Those half heads should not be allowed in the cinema as they obviously are not interested in films. You should have to qualify for licence to see films at the cinema in my book. And to get this licence you should have to sit an exam to test your knowledge of films and even be subjected to a home visit so your film collection can be authenticated. I do appreciate that people have different tastes what it comes to films and that is a good thing. I mean, my DVD/Blu-ray collection has all sorts in it they lots of people would turn their noses up at. But I do have loads and loads of brilliant movies that any decent film fan would enjoy. Yes, I think my licensing campaign would work because it would stop Special Brew enthusiasts and chavs knackering up the cinema exsperaince up for us all.
There is loads to enjoy in Grudge Match with funny lines, a nice bit of drama and the fight scenes are authentic and satisfying. The boxing match itself is filmed like the finale in Rocky Balboa. The second best Rocky film in my opinion. Both Sly and DeNiro are convincing and look like ageing pro boxers. Sly would though because he had loads of practice after all. And DeNiro, well, we all know how he can constanly change his look. The only let down is the boxing promoter played by Kevin Hart. I did not know who this tit was until seeing this film and I am not interested in who he is now. All he does talk fast and try and steal all the scenes he is in, trying misserably to be the next Eddie Murphy. Hart is not funny unlike Eddie, but just plain annoying. They should have just Eddie to play the role. I think that would have worked a treat.
I was lucky enough to go and see The Graham Norton Show this year at the studio when Sly and DeNiro were being interviewed and promoting the film. It was clear they had loads of fun making the film and working together. Despite Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot being not funny, Sly is a really amusing guy and has a great sense of humour, especially about himself. One thing that I noticed though was that DeNiro, in real life anyway, looks more and more like my late Grandpa Jack! RIP.
I have no problems with Grudge Match and really enjoyed it. You should too. "DING DING!"
I'm just a great actor says Robert De Niro at one point in this flick. Oh he certainly was. Here he is though, coasting along in relatively crowd pleasing, middle of the road fare. It's actually not a bad film I reckon but is probably more memorable for its premise than for its actual content.
That premise is of course Rocky v Raging Bull as De Niro and Sly play long retired boxers who once had a stirring, fabled rivalry in their younger days. Have they got it in them to have one last knock about in the ring? Well yeah, we wouldn't have much of a film otherwise.....
The journey is paved by solid performances from the two main men with plenty of starry support along the way. Alan Arkin is probably the stand out, nicking pretty much every scene he's in with his standard, endearingly grouchy effort. There's some snappy one liners in the script to provide some chuckles and they've tried to inject a fair amount of heart alongside. Some of this works, some of it doesn't but such is life. Overall it's amusing and likeable enough to get away with any lesser moments and is certainly worth a watch.
My first Saturday job, in the mid 1980s was a cinema usherette, after which I never thought I would voluntarily watch let alone enjoy another film where Sylvester Stallone dons boxing gloves.
However I did enjoy this film. It used good footage & photographs to mock-up a back story where De Niro & Stallone's characters were boxing rivals from Pittsburgh. In the 1980s De Niro won the first big contest between them and Stallone the re-match. The much hyped 3rd, to be the decider never happened, when Stallone's character retired from boxing and ended up working back in the shipyards. De-Niro's character is still bitter about this missed opportunity despite doing better financially with a car dealership and a bar which trades on his fighting career.
A plausible enough story-line when they are both asked to provide moves and voice overs for a video game brings them back together and leads to the promotion of the third match in real-life. The plot moves along at a decent pace and there are digs at the original Rocky Films with Stallone's training methods.
on 31 January 2014
Henry "Razor" Sharp and Billy "The Kid" McDonnen are boxers who were bitter rivals. Just before a big fight Razor decided to retire because Billy slept with his girlfriend, Sally Rose and got her pregnant.
Thirty years later a promoter wants them fight each other, but Razor doesn't. When he loses his job and learns he's broke, he has no other choice but to fight.....
Its strange that Stallone has taken the lowest ebb in his career, and melded the two together. Stallone's plight in this, mirrors Rocky V's narrative, and then the element of comedy, to his proper fans of a certain age, Oscar and Stop! Or My Mom will Shoot, do not seem that long ago.
So I went in with great caution. And while Stallone will never suit comedy (one liners in action movies don't count) De Niro makes the whole thing worth watching, and it's always good to see Stallone in the ring once more.
Its a simple story, again, the video game part that inspires the titular fight is ripped straight from Rocky Balboa, but its exactly what you'd expect.
Age is a huge factor in this, and weight problems and other ageing problems are the butt of the majority of the jokes. The stars get into promotional problems, which usually ends up with them fighting each other or someone else.
So it's not original by any means, Basinger is wasted in this, Hart grates every time he speaks, channelling every annoying stand up comedian who thought shouting would raise more laughs.
Arkin is predictably the best thing as the 'Micky' type trainer, but, their is a decent twist in the movie, and the CGI at the beginning is pretty good.
If you flinched at the idea of this film you probably won't like it, but if you yearned for Rocky Vs. Jake La Motta, this will suffice.
on 15 November 2014
Before you watch Grudge Match you could be inclined to thinking that the movie would be predictable tosh- however it surprisingly entertains. Stallone and De Niro play two retired boxers, who fought in their hey day and are finally coaxed out of retirement as sworn enemies to give it one last try.
There are moments of comedy, but the movie is much more drama than that with both having skeletons in the closet that come back at them as the two build up momentum for the fight. Unusually sentimental, but it rarely feels contrived. De Niro steals the piece as the self indulgent self centered man whose life lives in the past. Stallone is passable. Kim Basinger at 60 looks stunning and fans of The Walking Dead will recognise Jon Bernthal playing De Niros estranged son. There are cameos throughout with the best of them being a parody from Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfeld during the end credits. A fun film but the public didn't buy it.