GRUDGE MATCH

NOT EVEN A CONTENDER

THEATRICAL REVIEW
By Jess Fenton
26th January 2014

Sylvester Stallone seems very at ease with his place in Hollywood, and thus has resigned himself to making gimmick films. After the insane success of ‘The Expendables’ which has spawned two sequels, old Sly is at it again with ‘Grudge Match’ - only this time it's just sad because he’s bringing good people down with him.

‘Grudge Match’ pits Rocky against the Raging Bull - Sly Stallone verses Robert De Niro... as 70-year-old men. Oy vey. Stallone and Di Niro play Henry ‘Razor’ Sharp and Billy ‘The Kid’ McDonnen, respectively. Back in the day, they were two of the greatest boxers on the circuit and bitter rivals. After tying one each in a best-out-of-three series of grudge matches, Razor unexpectedly pulls out and retires from boxing forever.

SWITCH: 'GRUDGE MATCH' TRAILER

30 years later, Razor is a factory worker in serious debt, while Kid is a restauranteur and car dealer who’s never quite gotten over the fight that never was. Enter Dante Slate Jr (Kevin Hart), the son of a famous boxing promotor trying to make a name for himself by reuniting these two enemies to finish what they started.

This is apparently a comedy, but one where you laugh at the movie instead of with it. Watched only through the slits of your fingers as you bury your face in your hands in sheer embarrassment, every second is spent holding on for dear life to the memory of these once great entertainers.

Director Peter Segal (’50 First Dates’, ‘Get Smart’) is a sentimental comedy director and that’s exactly what he’s brought to the table here, but unfortunately he doesn't have the ability to polish this turd of a script.

Rounding out the cast is Kim Basinger, Jon Bernthal, Kevin Hart and Alan Arkin. Hart and Arkin do what they do best in terms of bringing the laughs, but they’re cheap and it’s not nearly enough with the train-wreck that is Stallone and De Niro taking centre stage.

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