Henry "Razor" Sharp and Billy "The Kid" McDonnen are two boxers who thirty years ago were rivals. Just before a big match Razor decides to retire because Billy slept with his girlfriend, Sally Rose and got her pregnant. Today a promoter, Dante Slate wants to have them fight each other but Razor doesn't want to. But when he loses his job and learns he's broke, he has no choice. So he trains under his old trainer. Billy while training, meets B.J., the son he had with Sally Rose and he asks B.J. to train him. And Sally Rose tries to get Razor to forgive her but he can't. Written by
During Kid's training a Rocky (1976) picture is seen on the wall. See more »
When Razor and Sally are talking in front of his house (across the street from railroad tracks) the background alternates from no trains to a stopped train to a moving train throughout the conversation. See more »
Hello again, everybody, I'm Jim Lampley. Certain athletes are born enemies. Bird and Magic. Ali and Frazier. Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding. But the fiercest rivalry was be between two fighters from Pittsburgh with the names Razor and Kid.
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I demand a rematch! These fighters are worth seeing again!
What a refreshing and unexpected (but nice) surprise Grudge Match was for the wife and I to sit down on a Saturday night, plop the Blu Ray disc in and for the next 2 hours, just enjoy a decent film minus any drugs, knife fights, or guns a blazing. When you have two major action stars such as Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone one might expect that the testosterone level on the big screen would get a bit heavy especially considering the movies theme is about two old and retired fighters who come out of retirement after 30 years to put the gloves back on and get back in to the ring to settle a very old score since both fighters won one of their two previous matches while in their prime back in the 1980's.
Robert DeNiro plays Billy "The Kid" McDonnen. Now Billy has a very big ego and since his boxing career ended prematurely 30 years ago he has done pretty good for himself owning his own car dealership and a successful bar called the Knockout. There is one scene in the film that I just grinned from ear to ear as Billy did a stand-up comedy routine in his bar with a puppet dressed as a prize fighter sitting in his corner as Billy bantered back and forth with the prize fighter dummy. The scene is less than a minute long but I give it full credit for the originality.
Sylvester Stallone plays Henry "Razor" Sharp. Now Razor was the guy who decided to hang up his gloves in the prime of his fighting career and we eventually find out why he retired. No spoiler alert, you will have to wait and hear it from Razor himself why he chose to retire from the ring. Razor's life has been kind of frozen in time these past 30 years, and he now works as a laborer in a factory, goes home to an empty house with no TV, cable or internet, and eats canned tuna and over ripened bananas to make ends meet. Razors life seems very depressing. Something is bothering him and the audience gets interested in finding out what makes Razor tick. I would have thought a boxing genre film would have been easier to figure out but the screenwriters did a good job in keeping the plot a bit deeper than most boxing films and we gradually grow to like Razor's character and think less of Billy the Kid's shallow and selfish personality.
There is also a good supporting cast of characters such as Kevin Hart who plays fight promoter Dante Slate Jr.. Dante's deceased father used to promote Razor's fights and Razors' memories of Dante Slate Sr. are not very good as he recalls being ripped off of his prize fight earnings. So Razor instantly is not prepared to go back in to the ring with Dante Slate Jr. holding the purse strings. Eventually Dante convinces Razor to put the gloves back on, but only for a fight simulation video for a software video company who agrees to pay him $15K. The movie is worth watching if for nothing else but seeing Stallone and De Niro dressed up in their head to toe lime green leotards game gear costumes so the techies can video their fight simulation. Did I say fight simulation? Well once Billy and Razor are within ring distance of each other the brouhaha goes viral on the internet and "the fight is on man!" We eventually get introduced to Kim Basinger's character Sally, who plays Razor's old love interest. Something happened to split Razor and Sally apart 30 years ago and we find out why Razor is a bit disenchanted with his life. When Razor eventually does agree to fight Billy for the grudge match of the decade he asks his old and trusted trainer Louis Lightning Conlon, played by veteran actor Alan Arkin. Louis is currently in a wheelchair and residing in an old age home, but Razor still wants his old and trusted friend Louis to get him back in to fighting shape. Razor is an honorable man and true friend as part of his income is used to pay for his friends nursing home costs.
There are a couple of scenes that remind us in a fun way of Stallone's Rocky films that just add to the films humorous theme. Billy on the other hand goes through a few trainers including LL Cool J who plays Frankie Brite, and Billy eventually settles on having his long lost son BJ played smartly by Jon Bernthal to train him.
Before you know it, we are witness to the fight of the decade in front of 18,000 fight fans split between who they want to win the fight. Most film goers always have their own prediction on who will win the main event. Will Razor win? Will Billy the Kid win? Or maybe it will be a draw? As I said no spoiler alert coming from me, so let's just say the ending is a good one. No, let me rephrase this..., I would say the ending is even better than I anticipated it would be. I Give Grudge match an 8 out of 10 ranking for the 10 rounds that Grudge Match went. Watch it and you will not be disappointed. It's a knockout hit.
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