I'm a giant Rocky fan. I've probably watched the movies a couple hundred times (no exaggeration). A couple of years back I even wrote a post ranking the six different Rocky movies. So when I saw the first trailer for Grudge Match I've got to be honest I was pretty concerned. The concept on its face sounds like a train wreck waiting to happen. Take two iconic actors who's arguably biggest roles in their career were as boxers and face them against each other in a movie not starring those two iconic characters. Doesn't sound great does it?
Luckily Grudge Match for all of its faults is still a pretty entertaining movie. On one hand both Sly and DeNiro play their typical characters that we've come to expect over the years. Sly is still Rocky, maybe with slightly more intellectOh. And DeNiro is exactly the cranky old guy that we've seen in most of his movies in the last ten years. Luckily Kevin Hart is in the movie to add an extra level of comedy that is exactly what the movie needed. I even laughed out loud a couple of times.
I've got to admit I was also pleasantly surprised that they kept the Rocky jokes to a minimum. Sure Sly's character drinks raw eggs and almost punches some meat in a meat locker, but for the most part they shied away from those cliches. In the end we were left with a pretty good boxing movie. It doesn't compare with Raging Bull or the Rocky franchise but it was a serviceable boxing movie that had the right combo of laughs and punches to make it worth watching.
Oh and the actual fight itself was really good and had a very fitting way to end. That's all I will say without spoiling everything.