The new Warner Brothers sports comedy, “Grudge Match”, opened in theaters on Dec. 25 and brought in about $7 million its opening week. Directed by Peter Segal and starring Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro, Kim Basinger and Kevin Hart, the chemistry between the legendary actors
alone certainly calls for high expectations.
The film is about two old boxing rivals who get into a fight during their first encounter in years and it goes viral. With all of the hits that it gains through social media, they decide to do an official rematch.
Stallone’s character, Henry “Razor” Sharp, at first refuses to go through with the rematch, but decides to go along with it because he needs the money.
De Niro’s character, Billy “The Kid” McDonnen, is all for the rematch from the beginning in order to prove a point that he could be victorious in a match against Razor “at his best.” Although both men being in their 60s may not quite qualify as at “their best.”
Stallone and De Niro previously acted as famous boxers in the films “Rocky” and “Raging Bull.” For people who have already seen those movies, this one may serve as the ultimate face-off. But although these two actors fit the parts they play very well in this movie, it is a predictable match up.
Fans will always see Stallone as Rocky and De Niro also got a lot of respect for his role in Raging Bull so it seems only right that they costar in a boxing movie years later. This perfect match may be a little bit too clichéd, but it almost seems as if that’s what Segal was going for.
Comedy is kind of a loose term to describe this movie if the viewer is expecting to laugh until they cry. But there are definitely sporadic funny moments throughout the movie, especially in scenes with comedian Kevin Hart.
Hart, as his fans most likely expected, added a great sense of humor to the film acting as the promoter for the HBO rematch. Hart’s role makes it easier for the movie to draw in a slightly younger generation than what Stallone or De Niro might have done alone.
His scenes were enough to make the viewer laugh out loud, but it still didn’t feel out of place with the tone of the rest of the movie. It was an interesting mix.
The movie also throws in some underlying “baby momma drama” as a big piece of the plot. It was a little refreshing, though, to show that romance and drama can come into play in a movie about old retired boxers.
All of the different aspects of the movie – from the comedy to the romance to the raw boxing action – really pulled together to make this movie a little something different compared to what else is in theaters right now. It is also a good old-school-meets-new-school kind of film, which makes it enjoyable for a variety of different generations.