Hot on the heels of ‘Last Vegas’, this silver-haired comedy sets up a rematch between Billy ‘The Kid’ McDonnen (Robert De Niro) and Henry ‘Razor’ Sharp (Sylvester Stallone), two former champion fighters still nursing wounds 30 years after their last bout. Since The Kid has been running a small business and Razor has been punching the clock in a Pittsburgh factory, it takes little prompting for them to resume their love-triangle-fuelled rivalry – the former spurred on his pursuit of redemption, the latter driven by his need to reconcile with a lost love (Kim Basinger).
Even by low standards, ‘Grudge Match’ is astonishingly undercooked. The problem isn’t a lack of surprise – there’s some pleasure in knowing where this is headed – but an indifference to even going through the motions between obligatory training montages and ageist put-downs. What redeems this film is the commitment our long-in-the-tooth heroes bring to exposing the dents in their once-formidable armour. Seventy-year-old De Niro exhibits zero vanity and while 67-year-old Stallone’s melted-wax mug can be hard to look at, he’s still every bit the Italian Stallion in a silk robe.