^

Film review: Grudge Match, The last round

Philip Cu-Unjieng (The Philippine Star) - January 22, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - It could have been “Get out of your wheelchairs and come out fighting!” but thankfully, the geriatric fight film, Warner’s Grudge Match (a.k.a. Rocky vs. Jake LaMotta), has much to offer in terms of charm and tongue-in-cheek humor, with winning performances from the cast.

Conceptually, it may sound daft at the outset, bringing together the lead actors from two iconic boxing films from over three decades ago, namely Rocky and Raging Bull, and having them portray retired boxers who after 30 years are compelled to settle once and for all their differences after splitting their two bouts. But that threadbare plot is complemented by a laudable effort of humanizing the two protagonists, and dwelling on issues such as retirement from sports, the life that could have been, the nature of competition and parenting, and bonds of family, friendship and rivalry.

Directed by Peter Segal, you can imagine both Sylvester Stallone and Robert de Niro having fun throughout the filming; knowing that in the same vein of such films as Last Vegas, The Expendables and Red, even if you can’t teach new tricks to old dogs, Hollywood knows how to give old dogs new films! And trust me, every joke about senior citizens and tough guys growing old is given free rein in the film. Kevin Hart as the fight promoter and Alan Arkin as the old, cantankerous trainer, both scene stealers to our sheer delight. After Little Miss Sunshine and Argo, we expect nothing less from Arkin, and Hart surprises by deftly utilizing his fast talking stand-up comic experience to give legendary boxing promoter Don King a hilarious run for his money.

Kim Basinger provides the romantic interest in a loaded manner, giving the rivalry between Stallone and De Niro a unique dimension. And while the legacy of both Rocky and Raging Bull are left intact, one can’t help but be “seduced” by this film that knows how to not take itself seriously. Look out for the end credit scenes that feature another fabled true rivalry, and pokes fun at it. You know the film’s premise is nothing short of ridiculous, but guilty pleasure or not, I can’t help but admit the film is one enjoyable ride.

AFTER LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE AND ARGO ALAN ARKIN DON KING EXPENDABLES AND RED GRUDGE MATCH KEVIN HART KIM BASINGER LAST VEGAS ROCKY AND RAGING BULL
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with