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Film / Grudge Match

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Grudge Match is a 2013 film starring Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro as retired boxers Henry Sharp and Billy McDonnan who come out of retirement for one more match with each other.

What starts as motion capture fighting for CGI turns into a grudge match when the two old boxers, Henry "Razor" Sharp and Billy "The Kid" McDonnan, get into a fight. The video goes viral, and promoter Dante Jr. (Kevin Hart) decides to turn their old heat into the real thing.

Tropes include:

  • Achilles' Heel: It's discovered that Henry is blind in one eye, prompting his trainer to try to force him out of the match. It works, temporarily.
  • Actor Allusion: Both Stallone's Rocky and De Niro's Jake LaMotta are referenced numerous times.
  • Alcoholic Parent: More like Alcoholic Grandparent, but Billy the Kid takes his grandson out to a bar and leaves him there to play drinking games while he nails a groupie in the back of his car. It's also implied when the grandson discusses how his dad, his grandma, and his grandpa all need to sit down and eat. He suggests a burger for himself and his dad, a salad for Billy, and wine for his grandma.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": The buffet commercial shoot.
  • Batman Gambit: At the MMA match, Dante Jr. wants to stop the Kid and Razor from alienating the audience by comparing it to wrasslin' and claiming that they used to call people who kicked in fights girls. This leads to a Single-Stroke Battle that leaves an MMA fighter on the floor and huge interest in the grudge match.
  • Bowdlerization: After a humorous exchange that leaves a younger trainer knocked out in the ring, Billy has to discuss the insult he used and claim that a BJ stands for Butterscotch Jellybeans. Women don't like to give men Butterscotch Jellybeans.
  • Dirty Old Man: Henry's trainer, who proclaims him ready by calling him a "one-eyed monster" and leaves his scooter behind when walking to the ring because he might "get some snapper."
  • Disappeared Dad: Billy and BJ meet each other for the first time when BJ is well into his thirties. Billy explains that he offered to marry Sally, BJ's mother, and, when turned down, to provide child support, but she rejected him and asked that he stay away. Billy later reveals that he always kept an eye on BJ from afar and kept a scrapbook of his son's accomplishment.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Billy's son prefers to go by his initials "BJ".
  • Expy: Besides Rocky and LaMotta, there's the late Dante Slate Sr., an expy of Don King, and Razor's trainer who bears a striking resemblance to Mickey (and shares Paulie's casual racism and misogyny).
  • Fallen-on-Hard-Times Job: Henry Sharp, former Light Heavyweight Champion, works in a steel mill. His house is noticeably dilapidated compared to his neighbors.
  • Graceful Loser: The Kid takes losing well. He even gets on Dancing with the Stars afterward.
  • In the Blood: Kid's son has his temper despite never having met him until he's in his 30s.
  • It's Personal: The beef between Sharp & McDonnan. McDonnan slept with Sharp's girlfriend and got her pregnant. To get back at the Kid, and knowing that their rubber match was the most important thing in the world to him, Sharp retired rather than give him the match.
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: The Kid decides to pull Razor back to his feet rather than win by using his blind eye against him. Razor returns the favor, pulling the Kid back up to his feet a few minutes later.
  • Misplaced-Names Poster: None of the poster names line up with the faces on the poster.
    • On the poster, reading from left to right it's DeNiro vs Stallone, but in the photo Stallone is on the left and DeNiro is on the right.
    • In smaller letters Kevin Hart's name is over Kim Basinger's head, Alan Arkin's name over Jon Bernthall, Basinger's over Hart, and Bernthall's over Arkin.
  • Motion Capture: In-Universe, Razor & Kid wear them to shoot scenes for a boxing videogame.
  • Portmanteau: the eponymous match is billed as "Grudgement Day."
  • Punny Name: Henry "Razor" Sharp and Billy "The Kid" McDonnan.
  • Reality TV: Billy wants a hotshot trainer with his own show to train him because he mentored the man's father. The trainer sticks Billy with someone even fatter than himself. Later, the show may have gotten footage of Billy knocking the trainer out for only offering to train him now that the match has heat.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: McDonnan (red) is a boisterous and hedonistic party animal. Sharp (blue) is calmer, more mindful and leads a quiet life.
  • Revealing Injury: Sharp gets in an auto accident which makes his trainer think he's blind in one eye. It's true.
  • Running Gag: Every time Sharp & McDonnan get into a fight (outside the ring), everyone around pulls out their phones and posts the video to YouTube.
  • Shameless Self-Promoter: Billy "The Kid" McDonnan is billed as fighting out of the McDonnan Auto Mall with 0% interest.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: 65 year old Henry Sharp knocks out Mixed Martial Arts superstar Chael Sonnen with one punch.
  • The Stinger: Dante Jr. tries to get Evander Holyfield & Mike Tyson in the ring again.
  • Stock Footage: Uses footage from the Rocky series and Raging Bull as parts of the characters' backstories.
  • Surprise Car Crash: Razor is out on a date with his former girlfriend; as they're driving along he gets slammed into. Nobody is seriously hurt, but it reveals that he's blind in his left eye.
  • Trash Talk: Used liberally, especially by Billy "The Kid".