Grudge Match review

Director:
Peter Segal
Cast:
Sylvester Stallone
Robert De Niro
Kevin Hart
Alan Arkin
Rated: PG-13
Trailer

Stallone drinks eggs and tries to punch meat in this movie. Could the jokes be anymore obvious?

“Grudge Match” tells the tale of two boxers, Henry ‘Razor’ Sharp (Stallone) and Billy ‘The Kid’ McDonnen (De Niro). Thirty years ago the two fought a pair of fights against each other, with both of them taking a win. When it came time for a third bout, though, Sharp decided to retire and get out of the boxing world.

This film suffers from simply having far too much going on. If it was just a story of two old fighters wanting to lay it on the line to prove who was better it would have been fine. The problem is that there are so many sub-plots that it makes a person’s head spin.

The film features plot threads about old romances and fathers meeting children they didn’t know they had. All of these stories don’t add anything special to the movie, as they feel more like filler than actually something that gives some heart.

Stallone and De Niro are both just OK here. They have their good moments, sure, but too much of their time is spent dealing with plot lines that we as an audience don’t care as much about. It’s made worse by the fact that the extent of the comedy that the two deliver is just references to past movies that they have done.

The real problem with that type of humor that they are given is that in the world of the movie, what they do isn’t considered funny. Scenes of Stallone punching hanging meat or drinking eggs are only comical to the audience because we know they are references. That’s not the case for the characters in the actual movie so all of those “jokes” just come off as awkward and lazy.

Kevin Hart, who’s career as an actor seems to be taking off, seemed to be doing an impression of Chris Tucker throughout the movie and nothing really more. The dialogue he has in the movie all seems tired and done before, and Hart just doesn’t deliver the material to elevate it in any way.

Another problem with the cast is Alan Arkin, whose talents are just wasted in the film. Last year in “Argo,” we got to see just how funny Arkin could be. This time around, he just isn’t given much to work with.

“Grudge Match” is just so forgettable. The comedy is all either ‘been there, done that’ or simple references that aren’t really funny. The film also takes too much on its plate which it can’t really handle. The one highlight of the film is the end fight, which was somewhat exciting. It’s not enough to save this flick, though. 1 out of 5.

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Author: Matthew Liedke

My name is Matthew Liedke. I'm a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer in Minnesota, but I also have a passion for the art of film. This passion led me to start writing about film in 2008. From 2008-2016 I wrote pieces at my own website, After the Movie Reviews. Then, from 2016-May 2018, my write-ups were featured on AreaVoices, a blog network run by Forum Communications Company. Today, I now write film reviews and other pieces here on Word Press. More about me: I'm a 2012 graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead where I studied journalism and film. Outside of film, I enjoy sports, video games, anime and craft beers.

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