Run time: 113 minutes
Director: Peter Segal
Cast: Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone, Kim Basinger, Jon Bernthal, Alan Arkin, Kevin Hart
Synopsis: Henry “Razor” Sharp (Sylvester Stallone) and Billy “The Kid” McDonnen (Robert De Niro) are two local Pittsburgh fighters whose fierce rivalry has 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), sees a lucrative opportunity and coaxes them to re-enter the ring and settle the score once and for all. If they survive the training, they may actually live to fight again.
Henry “Razor” Sharp (Sylvester Stallone) is now living a humble life, about to lose his blue collar job, and spending his time making sculptures out of scrap metal from the steel mill floor. Meanwhile arch enemy Billy “The Kid” McDonnen (Robert De Niro) runs a bar ‘Knocked Out’ and is a car dealer. These two boxers thirty years ago were bitter rivals in the ring and over a woman, Sally Rose (Kim Basinger) “Razor’s” girlfriend. They fought two epic bouts but never had a decider. Now that time has come.
When convinced that there is no alternative to this ‘Grudge Match’, ‘Razor’ starts to shape up under his old trainer, Louis ‘Lightning’ Conlon (Alan Arkin). Meanwhile ‘The Kid’ while training, meets B.J., (Jon Bernthal) the son he had with Sally Rose and he asks B.J. to train him. Sally Rose tries to reunite with ‘Razor’ and asks him to forgive her but he can’t.
A tagline for this film is ‘A battle of the ages’ and the script runs the gamut of age related jokes. The film also inevitably makes lots of nods to Rocky and Raging Bull. Fighting-fit trim De Niro and Stallone and the rest of the ensemble clearly had a lot of fun making the film. It’s no knockout, but it does have many predictable and unsophisticated laughs and reasonable plot twists. And make sure you don’t leave early before the end and miss celebrity cameos.
Images courtesy of Warner Bros