The main selling point of 2013’s ‘Grudge Match’ is the notion of a match-up between Rocky and Raging Bull. But iconic though those two silver screen boxers are, neither are in this movie. Instead Stallone is playing someone called Henry “Razor” Sharp, while De Niro’s character goes by the name Billy “The Kid” McDonnen. Ultimately this is probably a good thing given that Rocky Balboa is an entirely fictional character, whereas Jake LaMotta was an actual person who definitely existed in real life. So a film depicting that clash of the titans would be preposterous. Still, one can’t help but feel a little short-changed.
‘Grudge Match’ is not really a movie that takes itself too seriously, and that is just as well, because it is all quite silly. It is perfectly watchable, sometimes it’s quite funny, but there is nothing hugely original going on and the movie relies too heavily on, what is admittedly, a pretty stellar cast.
It’s quite hard to dislike this film, but there isn’t really much to love either. I’d watch it again if it happened to be on TV and I couldn’t be bothered to reach for the remote control (a scenario which happens more often than you might imagine and explains why I’ve sat through quite as many bad movies as I have) but it’s not one I’d ever bother seeking out.
Score for Christmasishness
Although not ostensibly a Christmas movie, it is predominantly set in December and Christmas decorations are fairly apparent in the background. And it is a story of redemption and repairing broken relationships so it works quite well as a Christmas(ish) movie. Insofar as it works at all.