Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

The trailer for Grudge Match comes with extra cheese

Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone play rival boxers who come together for “one last fight”. Oh, please.

Sun, Sep 15, 2013, 19:01


This is simultaneously magnificent and awful. The unspoken pitch could not be clearer: it’s Rocky Balboa versus Jake LaMotta. The problem, of course, is that, though of similar vintage, Rocky and Raging Bull are very different films. It a little like pitching Captain Jack Sparrow against Antonius Block from The Seventh Seal. (Max Von Sydow is still with us. So, it could happen.) We should not be surprised that De Niro said yes. You think you know how bad that actor’s recent work has been. You probably don’t. The fact that his inconsequential turn in Silver Linings Playbook was regarded as some sort of return to form  demonstrates quite how far he has drifted. It’s been little else but garbage for the past 15 years.

YouTube Preview Image

Stallone is happy enough in this sort of romp. So, it seems, is Rocky. It’s worth noting that the trailer features a reference to the meat-packing scene in that film. It seems unlikely that we will catch any “amusing” gestures towards the more gutting scenes in Raging Bull. It all adds to the oddness of the enterprise.

All that noted, I can’t deny that I laughed at the promo. I particularly like the notion that they come back together to record the motion-capture for an X-Box game. Kevin Hart and Alan Arkin deliver some fine one-liners with throwaway aplomb. And you have to love the cable network’s name for the fight: Grudgement Day. But still. It is about time De Niro made a proper film again.

The Grudge Match will be will us in January.

Sign In

Forgot Password?

Sign Up

The name that will appear beside your comments.

Have an account? Sign In

Forgot Password?

Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In or Sign Up

Thank you

You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.

Hello, .

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

Thank you for registering. Please check your email for the activation code.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 10 days from the date of publication.