Wanna see Rocky Balboa fight the movie version of Jake LaMotta?
That’s pretty much the loose premise of this comedy starring Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro. Sure they aren’t really playing those characters in the movie…but the actors who played them are.
Yes…it’s a stretch and a bit of a one trick pony.
But for whatever reason, based on this trailer it seems to work…well almost work. This movie is Hollywood fluff. I don’t think anyone involved would argue against that. The movie is obviously going to have Rocky and Raging Bull inspired jokes sprinkled throughout and it’s fun to see Stallone and De Niro bounce off each other in a Grumpy Old Men sort of way. It’s also great to throw Kevin Hart and Alan Arkin in there to stir things up. But what sort of surprised me about the trailer is the themes of living a fulfilling life into your later years.
It seems, at least to me, that it was just yesterday when we watched a buffed up Rocky Balboa fight Ivan Drago in Rocky 4. And even sooner when we saw a ripped up De Niro terrorize a family in Scorsese’s Cape Fear.
Where did the time go?
Seeing an older Stallone and De Niro square off only seems to drive home the point that
time is flying by.
When did Stallone and De Niro become Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau?
I know the easy thing would be to criticize this movie as a shameless money grab. Which it is. But a part of me is looking forward to seeing these two actors confront the themes of aging.
The truth is it won’t be long when they’ll be gone and we’ll be wishing we had the chance to see these two acting legends in just one more thing…anything…even something as harmless and mainstream as this.
Grudge Match stars Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone, Alan Arkin, Kevin Hart, Kim Bassinger and Jon Bernthal. The film is written by Tim Kelleher and Rodney Rothman. Grudge Match is directed by Peter Segel and is scheduled for release December 25, 2013.
Award-winning movie legends Oscar® winner Robert De Niro (“Raging Bull,” “Silver Linings Playbook”) and Oscar® nominee Sylvester Stallone (the “Rocky” films, “The Expendables”) star as old boxing rivals who come out of retirement for one final match. De Niro and Stallone play Billy “The Kid” McDonnen and Henry “Razor” Sharp, two local Pittsburgh fighters whose fierce rivalry put them in the national spotlight. Each had scored a victory against the other during their heyday, but in 1983, on the eve of their decisive third match, Razor suddenly announced his retirement, refusing to explain why but effectively delivering a knock-out punch to both their careers. Thirty years later, boxing promoter Dante Slate Jr., seeing big dollar signs, makes them an offer they can’t refuse: to re-enter the ring and settle the score once and for all. But they may not have to wait that long: on their first encounter in decades, their long-festering feud erupts into an unintentionally hilarious melee that instantly goes viral. The sudden social media frenzy transforms their local grudge match into a must-see HBO event. Now, if they can just survive the training, they may actually live to fight again.