Grudge Match Preview


It’s interesting to think that two of the biggest actors of the past few decades gained a bulk of their popularity from two like-minded films. For those of you who can’t wait any longer to know who is being referred to here, it’s none other than Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone. As any cinefile will tell you, De Niro’s role in Raging Bull (1980) is simply incredible, the work of a true artist, and a must watch. While the same accolades won’t get thrown at Stallone for Rocky (1976) and its slew of sequels, it’s impossible to deny the impact of the film and, really, the heart within its narrative. These were clearly two vastly different movies depicting vastly different characters, but at the core, they were, of course, about the same sport: Boxing.

And, funny enough, it’s boxing that is bringing these two actors together more than 30 years (keep that number in mind!) after they made waves portraying protagonists “in the ring.” They are set to co-star in the film Grudge Match that has a release date of 24 January 2014—it’s out one month prior in the U.S., probably to cash in on the holiday crowd. In the film, De Niro and Stallone transform themselves into a pair of retired boxers known as Billy “The Kid” McGuigan and Henry “Razor” Sharp, respectively. While they are both well past their primes, they have one match left to fight.

Thirty years prior in the narrative, they were supposed to go head to head for the championship belt and to settle their score. They had fought twice previously and were tied when it came to knocking the other one down. But right before the tie-breaking bout, Sharp called it quits. The impact on both of their careers was huge, resulting in the obviously long-lasting grudge between the two fighters.

Their rivalry is happened upon by promoter Dante Slate Jr., who is portrayed by comedic actor Kevin Hart. He steps in to finance the fight, which gains a following beyond anyone’s wildest imagination. The reason: The story behind the grudge match hits the Internet after the two get into a fight during a video game production session. Clips of their fight go viral thanks to people tweeting about it and sharing it on Facebook. After that, you have to imagine that all the online betting sites catch on, too. One look at the betting tips and news from Betfair makes that element of the storyline seem very likely. And then when you consider how intense some boxing fans are about placing bets? It would be interesting to see how the numbers would look for Razor and the Kid’s fight, especially considering all the other factors beyond their age and previous fighting experience. At this point in their lives, Razor isn’t exactly living the good li
fe while the Kid is an out-of-shape playboy.

From there, what’s meant to be a small match between two local fighters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania becomes an HBO-like main event. The only thing is, the two have been so far removed from their glory days that it’s unknown if they’ll even be able to survive training for the match. At least, that’s how the movie is being pushed, because come on, of course Razor and the Kid are going to fight. What would be the point if one of them, say, has a heart attack mid-film?

Anyway, you can watch the trailer for the comedy sports film below.

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