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DVD review: Grudge Match (2013) 25 years too late!

Grudge Match


Grudge Match is a modest, moderately entertaining manifestation that tells a story of regret, aging, and atonement. It’s a mundane embellishment of the world of boxing that allows two aging Hollywood legends to tries to capitalize on the loyalty of their once thriving fan base. It’s a begrudgingly poor attempt at humor that teeters back in forth between being moderately entertaining and completely senseless. The movie stars Sylvester Stallone (The Expendables 2), Robert DeNiro (Last Vegas), Kevin Hart (Ride Along), Alan Arkin (Argo), Kim Basinger (Charlie St. Cloud), (The Wolf of Wall Street). It also features appearances by LL Cool J (Last Holiday), Anthony Anderson (Scream 4), Evander Hollyfield, Roy Jones, Jr., and Mike Tyson (The Hangover).

Grudge Match could have been something special if this were 20 or 25 years ago. It’s Raging Bull against Rocky. Every movie lover would have wanted to see it but now in 2014, it’s just another ridiculous attempt to tug at what’s left of the fan base of the two old goats. Grudge Match has a heartwarming theme just a bad delivery of it. The theme of love, change, and the embrace of age makes for a good story, just not this one.

The hidden gem of Grudge Match is its supporting cast. While DeNiro and Stallone are the stars and attempt to regain past glory, Grudge Match is endurable simply because of the talent around the two. Led by Kevin Hart and Alan Arkin, Grudge Match has some good humorous moments that help to offset that boorish focus of the film. Stallone and DeNiro make a pedestrian attempt to get the audience to care about the bleeding heart, good natured Razor (Stallone) or the obnoxious, self-centered Kid (DeNiro), Hart and Arkin steal scene after scene and carry the film. Hart’s witty, hip comedy and Arkin’s snarky, old man antics are what truly makes Grudge Match an almost decent viewing. The movie would have been better off with more scenes with them than the stars of the film.

Grudge Match is the one sport that has more embellishment than any other sport when brought to the silver screen. Boxing movies are so much more melodramatic than the real event.

reverse of what Hollywood is currently obsessed with. It’s a film that has a target audience that is not the Twilight loving age bracket. Grudge Match is geared towards the lovers of a pair of Hollywood greats and throws Kevin Hart in the middle in a pedestrian attempt to widen its viewing base. The movie has its heart in the right place but its delivery is only a few notches above boredom. As the film progresses, most of it worsen, it’s neither humorous nor heartwarming enough to endure its 90 minute running time. However, Grudge Match has its moments. Grudge Match manages to find humor in the embracing of it’s over the hill stars. It’s at its best when some witty line finds its way into a scene about the advanced age of DeNiro and Stallone. It’s the best part of the film but sadly it’s not enough to elevate the film beyond being mediocre. For those who love DeNiro and Stallone, you will be able to stomach this boring expedition into the life of two over the hill men. For those who doesn’t this film will infuriate you the longer you view it.