Movie Review: Grudge Match

Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone, Alan Arkin

Grudge Match has a stellar cast, and it was fun to see Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro duke it out, as boxing rivals who haven't fought each other in thirty years. I haven't seen Kim Basinger on a screen in a while as well, and Jon Bernthal (Shane from Walking Dead!) plays De Niro's son. Alan Arkin also has a great part as Stallone's former trainer, who agrees to train him for the upcoming match, dubbed "Grudgement Day."

Billy "The Kid" McDonnen (De Niro) and Henry "Razor" Sharp (Stallone) each lost one boxing match in their careers, to each other. There was a third match that was supposed to occur, but Razor suddenly announced his retirement from boxing, and the match never happened. Thirty years later, The Kid and Razor run in to each other at a video studio, where they're recording movements and voicings for a video game depicting them, and they start fighting; one of the employees posts the video on YouTube and it goes viral. Dante Slate Jr. (Kevin Hart) convinces both of them to participate in "Grudgement Day," where their 3rd and final match will finally happen, but before that day they both need to deal with many unresolved issues, including the woman that The Kid slept with who used to be Razor's girlfriend (Basinger) and The Kid's now-son and grandson.

Like I said before, the cast worked well together, and it was fun to see the chemistry they had. I totally bought Stallone and De Niro as aging fighters, and their backstories were interesting; they had never been friends, but their relationship especially turned sour when The Kid slept with Razor's girlfriend, who now is interested in being back in his life. The humor in the film was also good, although be aware that it was sometimes raunchier than its PG-13 rating makes it seem like it will be.

Yes, see this movie. I was surprised by how funny it was, compared to how I was expecting it to be, and the fight scenes are good too. Make sure to stay through the credits, as there are two or three post-scenes that are also very funny, with some celebrity cameos as well. This film will have some tough competition over Christmas (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Saving Mr. Banks, to name a few), but it should succeed at the box office based on its premise and its ability to appeal to all ages.

Grudge Match is currently playing in theaters, and is rated PG-13 with a runtime of 113 minutes. 3.5 stars out of 5.

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