Grudge Match (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Peter Segal|
|Produced by||Peter Segal
Mark Steven Johnson
Ravi D. Mehta
|Screenplay by||Doug Ellin
|Starring||Robert De Niro
|Music by||Trevor Rabin|
|Editing by||William Kerr|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Running time||113 minutes|
|Box office||$42,000,000 |
Grudge Match is a 2013 sports comedy film starring Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone as aging boxers stepping into the ring for one last bout. Stallone and De Niro have both previously been in successful boxing films (Rocky and Raging Bull, respectively) and worked together in Cop Land. The film is directed by Peter Segal. It was previously scheduled for a January 10, 2014 release, but was moved up to December 25, 2013. The movie was released on January 24, 2014 in the United Kingdom.
Pittsburgh boxers Henry "Razor" Sharp (Sylvester Stallone) and Billy "The Kid" McDonnen (Robert De Niro) become rivals after two fights, one in which Kid beats Razor and one in which Razor beats Kid. Before they have a rematch, Razor announces his retirement, ruining both of their careers. Years later, Razor is working in a shipyard when he's visited by promoter Dante Slate Jr. (Kevin Hart), who wants Razor to provide a motion capture performance for a video game. Razor begrudingly accepts $15,000 needed to care for his ailing former-trainer and renovate his house. At the recording studio, he is surprised by Kid, who was also invited by Slate, and the two get into a fight and damage the studio's equipment before being arrested. Cellphone footage of the fight is uploaded on YouTube and goes viral, giving Slate the idea of organizing a final fight between Razor and Kid, which he calls a "Grudge Match".
Kid accepts Slate's offer, and Razor is forced to do so as well, after learning he has been fired from the shipyard. At the press conference to announce the Grudge Match, Razor is approached by his ex-girlfriend Sally Rose (Kim Basinger), who cheated on him with Kid during their youth and ended up becoming pregnant. Now widowed, Sally wants to reconnect with Razor, but he is reluctant. Razor later recruits his old trainer, Louis "Lightning" Conlon (Alan Arkin), to get him back in shape, while Kid is approached by his estranged biological son, B.J. (Jon Bernthal), against Sally's wishes. After initially dismissing him, the two begin to bond after B.J. gives Kid helpful advice regarding his technique, and is invited to be his trainer.
Lightning convinces Razor to forgive Sally, and finds out Razor is blind of one eye. He tries to convince Razor not to fight, as it could completely blind him, but Razor refuses to back down. Meanwhile, Kid takes his grandson Trey to celebrate the news that the Grudge Match is sold out. While B.J. believes they're going to a movie theater, Kid takes Trey to a bar and leaves him on his own to hook up with a groupie. Trey ends up accidentally starting Kid's car while he's in the backseat with the groupie, and though Kid prevents an accident, he is arrested, and B.J. is infuriated he endangered Trey. Kid later apologizes to B.J. and gives him a scrapbook that he kept of B.J.'s sports career in school, indicating he had always been interested in him, and B.J. forgives him.
The Grudge Match arrives, and Kid has the upper hand, severely beating Razor by unknowingly exploiting his blind eye. Upon learning of Razor's condition, however, Kid stops focusing on the eye and helps Razor on his feet. Razor turns the fight to his favor, but also helps Kid on his feet after nearly knocking him out. They decide to stop the fight and have the judges decide on points. Razor is declared the winner and celebrates with Sally and Lightning, while Kid enjoys the company of B.J. and Trey, who are proud of what he has accomplished.
In two post-credits scenes, Razor, Lightning and Slate watch Kid's performance in Dancing with the Stars and quickly deduce that he's having sex with his partner; and Slate tries to set up another Grudge Match between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield. Holyfield refuses several increasingly higher offers to fight Tyson before showing interest when Slate offers Holyfield a role in a fourth Hangover film. Tyson, frustrated by this offer, approaches Slate angrily before the scene ends.
- Robert De Niro as Billy "The Kid" McDonnen
- Sylvester Stallone as Henry "Razor" Sharp
- Kevin Hart as Dante Slate, Jr.
- Alan Arkin as Lightning
- Kim Basinger as Sally Rose
- Ireland Baldwin as Young Sally
- Jon Bernthal as B.J.
- Joey Diaz as Mikey
- LL Cool J as Frankie Brite
- Anthony Anderson as Mr. Sandpaper Hands
- Don Lake as Video Game Producer
Filming commenced in New Orleans, Louisiana, in late 2012 and wrapped in March 2013 while several different establishing shots of Downtown Pittsburgh and the Edgar Thomson Steel Works were shot in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area., A trailer was released on September 12, 2013.
Grudge Match has received generally negative reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, it holds a 30% rating, with an average score of 4.6/10, based on 125 reviews. The site's consensus reads: "Grudge Match is sporadically funny but meandering, and its strong cast is largely mired in a plot that's overrun with cliches." On Metacritic, it has a score of 35 (out of 100), based on 30 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian called the film "A preposterous, worthless mediocrity. [...] Never have I yearned more passionately to climb into my time machine and journey back to before my memory of Raging Bull was needlessly trashed by this incredibly depressing and worthless mediocrity".
Sylvester Stallone was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor for his performance in the film, along with Bullet to the Head and Escape Plan, but he lost to Jaden Smith for After Earth.
- "Grudge Match (2013)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 13, 2014.
- match "Grudge Match". Box Office. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
- "Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro: Grudge Match Set For Christmas Release!". ShowbizSpy.com. June 30, 2013. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- "Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro Might Go Head to Head in Tim Kelleher’s GRUDGE MATCH". Collider. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- RopeofSilicon.com LLC (November 9, 2012). "Wahlberg Confirmed for 'Transformers 4', 'Star Wars: Episode VII' Finds a Writer and Kushner Writing for Spielberg Again". Rope of Silicon. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- "The Walking Dead's Jon Bernthal Joins Stallone And De Niro In Grudge Match". CinemaBlend.com. December 14, 2012. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- "Sylvester Stallone Grudge Match stills | The Sun |Showbiz|Bizarre". The Sun. January 25, 2013. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- "Grudge Match". Film New Orleans. July 4, 2013. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- Vancheri, Barbara (2013-09-21). "Film notes: Pittsburgh makes the cut, sort of, in 'Grudge Match' - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette". Post-gazette.com. Retrieved 2014-01-07.
- "Grudge Match TRAILER 1 (2013) - Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone Movie HD". YouTube. 2013-09-12. Retrieved 2014-01-07.
- "Grudge Match (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
- "Grudge Match". Metacritic. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
- The Guardian
- Official website
- Grudge Match at the Internet Movie Database
- Grudge Match at Box Office Mojo
- Grudge Match blog (unofficial)