September 22, 2014
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GRUDGE MATCH
Joyce and Don Fowler

* * *

(Boxing soap opera)

Sylvester Stallone and Robert DeNiro play Razor Sharp and Billy the Kid McDonnen, two retired boxers who have a long history with each other. In their younger days, they were heroes and bitter enemies. Each had beaten the other, but in the third match Razor quit and never explained why. This infuriated Billy. A soap-opera rivalry for “the girl” (the gorgeous Kim Basinger who looks too classy for either one of them.)

A two-bit promoter (Kevin Hart) convinces them to participate in a video game revision of a third fight, but animosities run so high that they wreck the video studio. You can see where this is heading. Emotions are so high, and the payoff becomes so huge that they agree to a fight. Sleazy promotion builds the audience who are willing to pay to see two senior citizens in the ring.

They begin training, Razor with his father (the always funny Alan Arkin) and Billy with the son he never knew he had. It’s about here that the movie turns into a soap opera, as the love lives of the two boxers are revealed.

It gets a bit corny, all leading to the BIG FIGHT, with an even cornier ending. Along the way there are some funny lines. If only Stallone could act without mumbling. The references to Rocky and Raging Bull are hysterical, and the senior citizen jokes get some laughs, while other scenes fall flat.

This one is no big deal, but you could do worse. It is hard to believe that these two old bodies could take such punishment in the ring.

Rated PG-13, with some profanity, sexual references and the violence of the boxing ring.


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