Are you ready for Grudgement Day? This is a review for all you diehard boxing fans who are on the fence about watching this movie.
This is a cliché feel good Hollywood movie. It’s about two boxers who fought each other twice back in the 80’s. Sylvester Stallone is a good guy who’s on hard times. He’s in it for the money. De Niro is a bitter old man who wants his revenge. Stallone won the first fight and De Niro won the second fight. De Niro wanted a third fight but the fight was called off in the last second. The reason: De Niro slept with Stallone’s girlfriend and things got personal!
There are two main subplots. Stallone wants to win his ex-girlfriend back. Meanwhile, she’s had De Niro’s child. Except, De Niro hasn’t been a part of his life. De Niro’s subplot is about becoming connected with his new found son and his grandson. Over the course of the first 3/4ths of the movie there are your typical highs and lows associated with Hollywood films. It’s basically what you would get if you stitched Rocky, Rocky V, and Rocky Balboa together.
This is something straight out of the original Rocky movie.
Girlfriend: "Now matter how hard you work, you won’t be your best" (concerned)
Stallone: "It will be the best we got." (solemn)
Girlfriend: "Then go kick his ass!" (Adrien style)
Why do you watch a boxing movie? FOR THE FIGHT OF COURSE! I don’t want to give away any spoilers. I will say that this is not your typical Hollywood ending. Everyone is happy but you might as well place your bets now on who wins: De Niro, Stallone, or Draw?
Both fighters make Rocky Balboa look weak. They trade straight rights and hooks more often than Manny Pacquiao touches gloves. Both men fall down more times than a drunk trying to do hop scotch. Both guys get cut early and often. It’s all out war. At one point both guys are picking each other up, after they can’t go on, just so they can punch each other more. OH YEAH! Did I mention Pat Russell is reffing this slaughter? I guess Tony Weeks was busy doing his job somewhere else.
Other interesting stuff:
Both guys look good for being around 70. Stallone is still jacked and I’d be happy to look like De Niro when I’m 50.
There are a lot of cameos in this movie. The HBO crew are there (Lampley, Jones, and Merchant). Lampely does an excellent job as always. Chael Sonnen makes a funny cameo at a UFC event (Joe Rogan managed to save face and not appear). Roy Jones is about as disinterested as you can possibly imagine.
Roy at the start of the fight: "This could be good" [barely managing to fake a smile]
Roy during the fight: "He must be thinking, ‘Why in the hell did I do this?’" (almost deadpan; probably thinking about himself)
The best cameo is from Holyfield and Tyson. It’s hilarious. Eerily similar to a third fight some of us were talking about a couple days ago.
There is nothing special about this movie. It’s cookie cutter direction and story telling. The most interesting it gets is a "Rocky-esque" montage during training and during the fight. Don’t expect "Requiem for a Dream" here.
C+. Both guys give a good effort to relive old memories. The story is cliché but the fight is actually pretty good. If you liked "Rocky Balboa" then you will like this movie. It’s basically Rocky Balboa but with two main characters. ENJOY!!!