Grudge Match (2013)
Director: Peter Segal
Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone are two of my all time favorites, although for different reasons. Stallone has starred in some of the best schlock that has ever been produced in the past century. I love all of the Rocky movies. Even Rocky V. Yeah, I’m the one. De Niro on the other hand is unarguably one of the greatest actors of his generation. He has been in so many great roles over the years it would be useless to attempt to list them all, although the obvious comparison here is Raging Bull’s Jake Lamotta. This movie was basically pitched as a dream matchup between Rocky and Raging Bull. However, aside from a small niche of boxing fans who like to make online fantasy matchups between the likes of Clubber Lang and Ivan Drago (Clubber by TKO in the 4th by the way) I’m not so sure the general public was really clamoring for this match up, and if they were, the ideal time to do this would have been about thirty years prior.
I mean, Rocky 6 is already nearly ten years old and people made a joke (rightfully so) out of how old Stallone was there. Of course this movie is aware of that and makes many jokes to that effect, some work others do not. Most of the ones that do not are told by Kevin Hart who I have yet to see do anything remotely funny in any movie. This is more or less Grumpy Old Men with boxing taking the place of fishing. It has enjoyable moments, and Chael Sonnen in his great in his small cameo, but overall this is just too cloying and ridiculous of a plot to be tolerable by most. If Burgess Meredith were still with us in the immortal role of ol’ Mick he’d be yelling at Stallone and De Niro both “Down! Down! Stay Down!”