Monday, 2 June 2014

Grudge Match

Stallone and DeNiro play perfect versions of themselves pissing on the graves of their own genius, a lot of people hated this film, I actually didn't mind it even though it did feel a wee bit like an appalling sequel to Rocky and Raging Bull that destroyed the memory of the originals... kind of.


Pittsburgh boxers Henry "Razor" Sharp (Sylvester Stallone) and Billy "The Kid" McDonnen (Robert DeNiro) become rivals after two fights, one in which Kid beats Razor and one in which Razor beats Kid. For an unknown reason Sharp pulls out of the deciding match which causes "The Kid" to have a micro rage that lasts for many years, despite his clear financial success of living off his past achievements like both the main actors in this film do.

I liked it for some reason even though it was essentially absolutely bollocks and to be fair, isn't much of a film. It rapes the memory of Rocky (just like a lot of the Rocky sequels did) and feels almost like one of those spin off films that is designed to cash in on something successful even though Stallone hasn't really been successful since the 80s. A success that’s deteriorating as he clings on to his past like someone in their 80s too old and stubborn to die.


The film is overall somehow touching but wholly predictable, the only surprise being Kim Bassinger as a love interest, which is like having a second hand dildo as a love interest in a toy story sequel. Obviously someone has to win the final battle and with two big actors playing against each other you’d think that they’d make it hard to figure out who it might be. Could it be the wonderful DeNiro with his Irish charm and intense womanising ways, or the innocent but troubled Stallone with his honour and his painful past, etc…? <spoilers> Yea, obviously Stallone, and yes, he does win. </spoilers>

The performances weren’t particularly bad and there are a few wee throwbacks for fans of the “originals”, like when Stallone attempts to beat some meat in a frozen meat cage or whatever they are called. Kevin Hart has a brilliant performance as Chris Tucker from Rush Hour, but he really fulfilled his role as the comic relief since Stallone has about as much comic timing as a clown dressed up as a metronome. But one that wasn’t funny and couldn’t keep time for shit. Which I imagine is all of them, not a lot of Clowns are also playing in rhythm sections in Jazz bands. I wouldn’t think.

Grudge Match gets a wholly adequate 3/5.

[★★★☆☆]

Dave Roberts


Grudge Match at CeX



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