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Movie Reviews GRUDGE MATCH

GRUDGE MATCH

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It’s unfortunate, but GRUDGE MATCH (2013) starring Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone, and Kim Bassinger is one of those movies that should have never been made. I do give credit to Stallone 67, and De Niro 70, for even considering such physical roles—however their boxing personas made famous in the 80’s might have been better off retired and permanently relegated to the rental shelves.

When a pair of lightweight boxing rivals are coaxed out of retirement with the promise of a large purse, they foolishly decide that a little training and a good night’s sleep might be enough to prepare them for a rematch thirty years after their last blow-out in the ring.

I’ve always loved the ROCKY (1976) franchise, an iconic series of underdog/boxing pictures starring Stallone that periodically graced our theatres for thirty years, the fifth installment titled ROCKY BALBOA last released in 2006. Let’s not forget RAGING BULL (1980) starring De Niro—undoubtedly one of the best movies of our generation. So with that all being said, why do people figure that they must take that kind of legacy and make a joke out of it? I’ll never understand that mentality and level of disrespect.

It actually bothered me to sit through GRUDGE MATCH, watching Stallone and De Niro struggle to dredge up emotions in a picture they obviously weren’t invested in. Supporting actress Kim Bassinger might as well have sent her hairdresser to read her lines, delivered with about as much feeling as a drama-club read through. Jon Bernthal, who many may remember from his turn as Shane in the Walking Dead television series, proved to be the only saving grace in the entire picture. Directed by Peter Segal, PG-13, 113 Mins, Comedy, Sport, ** 2 stars out of 5.

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Reviewed by Lynne Martin January 14, 2014
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