Movie review: ‘Grudge Match’
By Sean P. Means
The Salt Lake TribuneFirst published Dec 24 2013 10:40AM
As old as the stars are in "Grudge Match," it’s the jokes that are ancient and wheezy.
Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro star as Henry "Razor" Sharp and Billy "The Kid" O’Donnen, former boxing rivals (as shown in clips that morph footage from "Raging Bull" and "Rocky") who still can’t stand each other 30 years later. When Dante Jr. (Kevin Hart), the son of their former promoter, shows up with an offer of a fight, the working-stiff Sharp is reluctant to take it — while O’Donnen, a womanizing bar owner, needles Sharp into signing on for the rematch.
Thus begins an endless stream of geriatric jokes and training montages, occasionally interrupted by a sappy backstory about how Sharp’s then-girlfriend (Kim Basinger) gave birth to O’Donnen’s son (Jon Bernthal), who’s now helping his long-lost dad train.
Except for the occasional one-liner by Hart or Alan Arkin (as Sharp’s crusty trainer), director Peter Segal ("Anger Management") can’t generate any laughs or even a pulse.