Grudge Match ***

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Run Time: 113 mins                    Cert: 12A

 

Synopsis: Thirty years after the retirement of boxer Henry “Razor” Sharp (Sylvester Stallone), he and his rival Billy “The Kid” McDonnen (Robert De Niro) embark on a rematch. 

 

The film begins in 1983 when two boxers tie in a match. Prior to the rematch, Henry “Razor” Sharp (Stallone) decides to retire, which ruins both his career and that of his opponent Billy “The Kid” McDonnen (De Niro). Thirty years later, both are approached by promoter Dante Slate Junior (Kevin Hart) about both a video game and a rematch between them. Despite his initial reluctance, circumstances lead Razor to accept the offer and the pair get in training for their “Grudge Match”.

 

The movie features a number both of entertaining and comic scenes in which the ageing boxers publicly embarrass themselves and make their promoter’s job increasingly difficult. While the story follows a common formula and does not have a lot of twists, these antics will keep the audience interested and waiting to see what Razor and Billy get up to next.

 

Stallone and De Niro are both fun to watch and work well together. The supporting cast also perform to a high standard with some additional comic relief from both Kevin Hart and Alan Arkin. The subplot featuring Sally Rose (Kim Basinger), a woman who has both the fighters’ affections, and her son BJ (Jon Bernthal) is pleasant enough to watch but very predictable.

 

Overall, “Grudge Match” is by no means a masterpiece but a good form of light entertainment.

 

Reviewed by Lesley Logan

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