Given the Heavyweight talent involved, Grudge Match, the Boxing comedy starring Robert DeNiro and Sylvester Stallone, should have been a knock out. Instead, it fails to pack much of a punch.
In the early eighties, Billy ‘The Kid’ McDonnen and Henry ‘Razor’ Sharp were fierce rivals.
The two traded wins across two fights and were meant to clash in a third, but it never happened. Thirty years later, a video of them brawling on the set of a video game shoot goes viral and spurns interest in another fight.
Viewers will obviously make the connection between DeNiro and Stallone’s other Boxing roles in Raging Bull and the Rocky series, which are alluded to. The references are more overt when it comes to Stallone; during training, he gets ready to use a slab of meat as a punching bag before his manager tells him what a stupid idea it is.
Alan Arkin, Hollywood’s go-to bemused old man, plays Stallone’s manager. Kim Basinger shows up as Stallone’s old flame and there are cameos from UFC and Boxing notables including ring announcer Michael Buffer.
Grudge Match could’ve been a contender. It’s by no means a bad film, it just isn’t that great either.