Grudge Match (2013) Movie Review
Released : Dec. 25th, 2013
Reviewed : Jan.19th, 2014
Genre : Comedy / Sports
Film Length : 113 Minutes
The dream match of two actors from two famous boxing films (Rocky and Raging Bull) come together but does it do both sides well or fall into the realms of wishing it still remained just a fantasy.
The story follows two former boxers who after having a heated rivalry in their day are brought back 30 years after their last match for one final fight to finish the feud. Throw in one old manager, one money hungry promoter, ex lovers, and unknown kids and you’ve got a full film with side stories. Don’t go expecting anything thing new though with the story as it is about as straight laced and cliche as possible. It does what it needs to progress the story but doesn’t go far out to try and outdo itself. You do get the sentimental moments, the follow up happy moments, and everything in between though.
One thing the film relies on is the fact that this is between much a battle between Rocky and Jake La Motta. Two iconic characters from what are two of the most famous boxing films of all time. The film almost lets you know that they are basing the characters off them as several times you see screenshots of each character portraying a younger version of each actor. The boxing and training itself is done well enough. We get a solid enough final match cut short in spots for obvious reasons but it does feel fulfilling. Both men though shirtless is quire frighting to say the least.
By far though the strongest suit for the film is it’s actors.
Sylvester Stallone (Razor) And Robert De Niro (The Kid) both are great as grumpy and pride struck retired boxers giving it their final go. They play great off each other and really don’t have many bad scenes. Same can be said though for Kevin Hart and Alan Arkin who would great together. The constant racial jokes they go back and forth with don’t always work and sometimes feel pushed though. Kim Basinger as Razor and Kid’s ex lover plays her role decent enough and looks great for being older. Finally Jon Bernthal does a decent job as well though his role could be filled with almost any athletic looking middle aged man and been the same.
I will say however the film is too long for it’s own good. A lot of the side stories could have been shorted down and the film could be able 20 minutes shorter. Towards the end it just starts to feel too long as if it is dragging on.
Overall, while this isn’t the greatest dream match everyone wanted it does a decent job filling that blank. With a good cast and a solid final match you will get your money worth. Just don’t be expecting a great story or nonstop laughs. Worth a view but nothing more.