To pass the time during my flight to Indianapolis last week, I decided to watch the movie “Grudge Match” starring Sylvester Stallone and Robert DeNiro. The trailers for the movie looked funny, and I thought it would be interesting to see what these two powerhouse talents could do on the screen together.
The premise of the film was about two bitter boxing rivals from the 80’s who get the opportunity to settle some old scores by going into the ring one more time. The idea of two old men preparing for a boxing match sounded like an interesting idea to explore, but I found myself disappointed by the film. With so many angles that the filmmakers could have taken, they chose to stick with the usual tired jokes about old people. For instance, the boxing match was sponsored by Geritol. Or, as the two boxers parachute out of a plane to promote the fight, their parachutes open to spell the words “Ben Gay”. It seemed like the jokes were all the typical cliches that one would expect to hear or see in a comedic film about geriatrics.
As for the acting, Robert DeNiro stills has it. His delivery of punchlines was dead-on. I have always enjoyed his performances in comedic films like “Analyze This” and “Meet the Parents”. And, his performance in this film, despite the weak script, is good. Sylvester Stallone’s performance harkened back to his “Rocky” days, which was primarily the character he was playing, except with a different name. There were even several subtle references towards those earlier films in “Grudge Match”. But, overall, I thought Stallone’s performance was weak. The delivery of his lines seemed to lack the emotion that should go with them. And often, his delivery was more of a mumble, which made it difficult to even understand what he was saying.
All in all, “Grudge Match” was decent film, but it could have been far better.