So who would win in a fight between Rocky Balboa and Jake LaMotta? Maybe the computer simulation program used in Rocky’s last outing could tell us, but better yet, we will see it in reality at the end of the year in Grudge Match. Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro have dusted off their boxing gloves (Bob’s were a bit dustier than Sly’s, it must be said) to step back into the ring as a pair of aging former boxers with a score to settle who get coaxed out of retirement. The first set pic certainly shows the two aging pugilists looking in good order considering they’re both staring at the big 7-0 and it certainly screams “must watch!”
When first announced a few months back this sounded like a joke, much like the bizarre rumour of Twins 2 (or Triplets) which would see Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger joined by Eddie Murphy. That may yet come to pass, and whilst gimmicky films in Hollywood are nothing new, can we at least expect Grudge Match to be more than a curiosity? Peter Segal takes up the director’s chair. His track record is fairly average, though he’s distinct in as much as doing some of Adam Sandler’s more watchable films, as well as guilty pleasure Tommy Boy. However Stallone and De Niro will be ably supported by the always brilliant Alan Arkin (Argo) and Kim Basinger (L.A. Confidential), who still looks like she would be worth spending 9 ½ Weeks with.
Whilst there’s probably no danger this will become as iconic or award magnetic as the first Rocky or Raging Bull, Grudge Match will most definitely be required viewing for movie goers with a fondness for either. For many the attraction might be akin to looking at a car crash, but with fingers crossed we can all hope that this is more than just a money making gimmick.
Grudge Match is currently set for release on November 15th in North America, with a UK date yet to be announced.