Grudge Match (2013) Review

Henry “Razor” Sharp and Billy “The Kid” McDonnen were big boxing rivals and come out of retirement to fight each other one final time, thirty years after their last match!


A feud that has been going on for decades between Henry and Billy has a lot more to it than just boxing. Sally created a love triangle between the pair even though she seemed perfect with Henry. However ending up with Billy for the night resulted in her being pregnant with son BJ. Yes, I am sure you can imagine the jokes already (they went there a lot with that). When he is reunited with Billy this is something that makes for a rather interesting side to the story considering this means that he also has a grandson.

The film attempts to go a little bit deeper than just having the boxing match as the main part and this is where the relationships and family units come into it. Although I guess it is rather realistic in what people deal with these days it is a little bit boring at times to see unfold on screen. Especially when Billy does exactly what we would expect and messes up royally when looking after his grandson. The predictable nature of these moments probably makes the film drag a little bit.

Louis “Lightning” Conlon longtime friend of Henry becomes his trainer again and I have to admit that I adore the Rocky reference when they come up against the meat. With Louis stating he doesn’t have to punch everything and that they only came to the meat place to pick up some steaks for dinner! As well as actually taking into consideration how hard it is at their current ages to suddenly work out again and that things really are very different.

Grudge Match is not a bad film at all, as long as you don’t expect too much from it. I am sure even from the name, poster and trailer you can easily imagine that it will not be groundbreaking but a chance to see Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro up against each other is something that is certainly enjoyable enough. Then we throw in Alan Arkin, Kim Basinger and Jon Bernthal for support. Arkin is always impressive in the supporting role and manages to really bring it and steal scenes no matter on the type of film.

I actually think I have found myself watching this film more than once and when you take into consideration the state of De Niro’s career in terms of comedy films in the past two decades, this is by no means one of the worst ones and certainly offers enough to enjoy. Stallone always owns boxing films right? I guess we have to remember though that in this one he is not actually Rocky Balboa something that is quite difficult at times.

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