Grudge Match Review

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Two old boxing pros (De Niro and Stallone), long-time rivals now in the autumn of their careers, are lured back into the ring for one final glory bout.


Sylvester Stallone is the old paunchy, grumpy one and Robert De Niro is the other old, paunchy, grumpy one in this big-screen adaptation of the classic Balboa-versus-LaMotta pub debate. As a couple of washed-up stumblebums training for a rematch, they gamely send up the movies Grudge Match is inspired by (Rocky via a meat-punching joke; Raging Bull via a puppet show in a dive bar), but unfortunately, despite the dream-team pairing, this is a dreary, spark-free affair that seems to take forever to get into the ring. Alan Arkin’s dick jokes are as good as it gets.

An idea that must have sounded good on paper looks a lot less smart on the screen.