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See It, Rent It, Or Skip It: ‘Grudge Match’

By: Nichole Jaworski
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(Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

(Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

(CBS Charlotte) — If you’re looking for an action-packed movie this Christmas, ‘Grudge Match’ is not the right pick for you. In truth, while the story line is predictable and at times the acting barely climbs above sub-par, there is no denying that there is some heart in the plot — the keyword here being some.

One could argue that the supporting characters, played by Alan Arkin, Kim Basinger, and Kevin Hart, are one of the few things that keep this movie entertaining. On the other hand, there is a sense of familiarity and realness portrayed through Henry “Razor” Sharp’s (Stallone) character. It’s hard not to root for Razor after seeing the mounting past due bills accumulating on his table, along with the lingering, painful reminders of the girl who got away.

But wait … let’s start at the beginning — some 30 years ago, boxers Billy “The Kid” McDonnen (De Niro) and “Razor” (Stallone) made sports headlines with each claiming a victory during a highly anticipated boxing match. Soon after, “Razor” learned that “The Kid” had slept with Sally (Basinger,) leaving “Razor” deflated, both personally and professionally. Before the big tie-breaking match, he walked away from the sport he loved, in addition to the love of his life.  

Then, 30 years after the two boxers were long forgotten in the boxing world, they are reunited by the son (Hart) of their old promoter. He manages to convince them both to throw some hooks for an upcoming video game. The two converse (argue) during the video game shoot, and alas … the planning for Grudgement Day begins.

While it’s usually true that most good fights involve a good ole’ love triangle, don’t expect to see ‘Raging Bull’ or ‘Rocky’ style fighting in the ring.

The scenes inside the ring were seriously lacking the kind of anger and passion you would expect to see during a “Grudge Match.” Nevertheless, the fight went on and the two continued to smack each other around — seemingly in slow motion, until at last … the grudge between the two had faded, both in and outside of the ring.

If you’re a fan of both De Niro and Stallone, this movie would make an okay rental down the road, but if you plan on watching it at your local movie theater, you will more than likely walk away feeling disappointed.

-Nichole Jaworski, CBS Charlotte

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