Grudge Match is a film that has perhaps one of the most exceptional casts seen in many years, but which manages to squander this potential behind poorly executed ambition and lack of focus. With Robert de Niro, Sylvester Stallone, Alan Arkin, Kevin Hart and Kim Basinger all appearing, how could it have gone wrong?
Well, in fairness, Grudge Match isn’t a bad movie; just a mediocre one. Nobody feels like they’re just cashing a paycheck here, they’re all trying, but nothing really seems that impressive about the end product. Henry “Razor” Sharp (Sylvester Stallone) and Billy “The Kid” McDonnen (Robert De Niro) are two formerly successful boxers who in their prime suffered their only defeats from each other. In their old age, they are approached by promoter Dante Slate Jr, who wants to organize a much anticipated comeback fight between the two former champs.
Grudge Match feels like a movie made by people who care about boxing, and have a history with the sport. However, to tell it honestly, there’s just far too few funny moments. This is a comedy, above all, and there’s really very little that makes me laugh, unless old men fighting does it for you. The premise is solid, and the potential shines through at random moments, but it feels so unsatisfying about how it all comes together. Especially for de Niro and Stallone, two actors who do understand how to play to their strengths, even in old age.
Not bad, but nothing especially amazing here otherwise.