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Rocky vs. Raging Bull: Peter Travers Weighs In On ‘Grudge Match’

De Niro and Stallone come nowhere close to their most iconic roles in this film

Peter Travers Jan 10, 2014
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(from left) De Niro and Stallone go for another round in 'Grudge Match'. Photo: Ben Rothstein/Warner Bros

(from left) De Niro and Stallone go for another round in ‘Grudge Match’. Photo: Ben Rothstein/Warner Bros

[easyreview cat1title = “Grudge Match” cat1rating = 1 cat1detail = ” “]

Next to finding a lump of coal under your Christmas tree, I can’t think of a worse gift for the holiday season than a ticket to Grudge Match. Sylvester Stallone, 67, plays Henry “Razor” Sharp, a Pittsburgh boxer who decided to retire in 1983 just before a decisive third match with Billy “The Kid” McDonnen, played by Robert De Niro, 70. Now these two feuding AARP stalwarts decide to hold a grudge match to settle the score. The jokes are older than the actors. “Gutsy move to go without a bra,” Razor tells The Kid. You get my drift. The fight scenes are drag-ass. Add shameless tearjerking when Kim Basinger, 60, shows up as the babe they both once loved. You don’t need a ref to see that paychecks were the prime motivation for this soggy Rocky vs. Raging Bull saga. Watching De Niro and Stallone piss all over their most iconic roles provides no pleasure. It made me feel ”“ Sad. Sad. Sad.

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