Grudge Match Trailer: It’s Close to Rocky But Not Quite a Raging Bull.

Posted: September 13, 2013 in Movies


Grudge Match has Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro as two retired fighters who un-retire themselves to fight one last time for some big and much-needed money for both of them.

If this were a drama, Hollywood would have delivered on the expectations and given us a Rocky Balboa vs. Jake LaMotta tragedy about dreams crushed directed by a Martin Scorsese protégé in both B&W and found footage color.

But Hollywood has a truly reliable way of living down to expectations as far as sequels go.  So Grudge Match is a comedy with melodrama thrown in and parodies and homages every fifteen minutes.

The trailer has Stallone and DeNiro sparring off their great chemistry together.

De Niro looks in fine comic form, nimbly adjusting to any maudlin moments the script by Tim Kelleher, Doug Ellin and Rodney Rothman and director Peter Segal (50 First Dates, Anger Management) throw at him.  Stallone seems to be in full-blown tragic champion mode, never smiling until the last moment when he quips about DeNiro “gutsy move, going without a bra.”

The winning moments come from Kevin Hart (think Joe Pesce minus the true rage) and Alan Arkin (generating some Burgess Meredith aura, while still stealing scenes with his straight delivery of the scripts best zingers) as the two bickering fight managers– two performers who know how to ham it up when the cheese is spread.

Kim Bassinger looks winning as Stallone’s boxing hybrid girlfriend/wife– equal parts Adrian (Talia Shire) and Vickie LaMotta (Cathy Moriarity).

Opens Christmas day.

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