"Rocky Balboa" meets "Raging Bull" in a comedy? How could this go wrong?

Due in theatres Christmas Day, "Grudge Match" centers on two aging former boxers, Henry "Razor" Sharp (Stallone) and Billy "The Kid" McDonnen (De Niro), who fought twice in their prime, with Sharp retiring before their third fight. 30 years later, both Sharp and McDonnen are signed on to appear in a boxing video game, but get into a fight during the motion-capture phase of production. The video of their fight goes viral and sparks interest in finally having their third and final match. Now both men have to deal with the idea of getting back into the ring after 30 years, fighting through their advanced age to get back into shape, dealing with public scrutiny, as well as personal issues such as McDonnen reconnecting with his estranged son.

As big of a fan as I am of both Stallone and De Niro, I do have to ask; didn't we already see this movie when it was called "Rocky Balboa"? That movie dealt with Rocky getting back into the ring as an older man after a video recreation of a fight between he and the current champion goes viral, he has to deal with the public perception of an older man boxing, and he reconnects with his estranged son. Only this time, it’s a comedy. And make no mistake; this is intended to be a full-on comedy, just with heart and some serious tones. Its directed by Peter Segal, known for directing "Get Smart", "The Longest Yard", "Tommy Boy", and "The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps".

I have no problem with either Stallone or De Niro being in a comedy like this, I just don't like the idea of this being a parody of two of the greatest boxing films ever made. Heck, there’s a direct reference to the meat punching scene from the original “Rocky” right in the trailer.  And I'm sure I'm not the first two make this comparison, but it looks like a new take on "Grumpy Old Men". I want to like this because I love the actors and their original films, but I just don't know how all of that mixed into a comedy setting is going to play out. The story seems interesting, if not unoriginal.  Seeing Stallone, De Niro, and Kim Basinger should prove to a treat.  Alan Arkin and Kevin Hart look like they play their comedy off each other well.  And the CGI to make Stallone look young for his retirement scene was amazing.  But even with the points that give me hope, I fear there's too much going against this film for it to be a quality outing.  Here's hoping for the best, but expecting the worst.

More From 102.3 The Bull