Grudge Match

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -3

Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone, Alan Arkin, Kevin Hart, Kim Basinger. Sports comedy. Written by Rodney Rothman. Directed by Peter Segal.

FILM SYNOPSIS: 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. (Kevin Hart), 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.

PREVIEW REVIEW: I had fun with this movie (mostly). But then it was made for those of us who saw Raging Bull and the original Rocky. It’s for us geezers who remember DeNiro and Stallone in their prime. Containing some funny moments (Stallone drinking four fresh eggs), some touching ones (DeNiro bonding with his newly discovered grandson), some beauty (aging but still lovely Kim Basinger), and even some boxing, there’s something for each and every geezer.

Remember how I said mostly? Sadly, Alan Arkin, as a trainer fresh out of the old folks’ home, profanes God’s name several times, each time with the intent of injecting humor into his Burgess Meredith-grump-like dialogue. That may ruin the movie for you, that is, if hearing a frustrated screen character utter “God” followed by a curse, still bothers you. It evidently didn’t bother Mr. Arkin. Or the director. Or most of last night’s screening audience.

TEEN DEFINITION of Intended Audience below: “Geezer,” as in Old Geezer: A fuddy-duddy; a watcher of TVLand; one time pal of Abe Lincoln. An old guy. WARNING: I wouldn’t try calling him that.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Warner Bros.

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: A few crude sexual remarks

Obscene Language: The s-word, the new “darn it” is used at least 20 times; a few other minor expletives and some crude references to body parts pepper the dialogue.

Profanity: Around 8 profane uses of God’s name and a couple of misuses of Christ’s name.

Violence: A jolting car crash, boxing and a couple of minor brawls.

Sex: One sexual situation, but brief and it’s not graphic; several sexual references.

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Brief drinking.

Other: None

Running Time: 113 minutes
Intended Audience: Us geezers

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