Thursday, July 23, 2015


Another boxing movie in the mix only gives Hollywood another shot to screw things up – because as we all know, the genre has already been expertly covered and explored in movies like Raging Bull, Rocky, Million Dollar Baby, Cinderella Man and The Fighter, for example… And this time, were it not for Gyllenhaal’s commitedly brilliant performance, solid supporting turns from McAdams and Whitaker, some occasional in-the-ring intensity and a light, beating-heart bond between father and daughter this movie would have been down for the clichéd and by-the-numbers genre film count.  It’s a fairly predictable and broadly brush-stroked movie that’s often failed by the flatly simplistic script and gun-shy direction – a surface level flick that never fully gets its legs underneath itself and fails to truly dig deep into the drama and heartache at hand.  Get in the ring with someone better and you’re bound to perform better – but this lightweight effort behind the camera is no match for the heavyweight acting on the other side. Gyllenhaal delivers a knock-out performance that elevates these dark, gritty and melodramatic proceedings and makes it something that’s ultimately worth the watch.
Starring:  Jake Gyllenhaal, Forest Whitaker, Rachel McAdams and Oona Laurence
Directed by: Antoine Fuqua

Rated: R
Running time: 2hr. 3min.
Story: Southpaw tells the riveting story of Billy "The Great" Hope, reigning Junior Middleweight Boxing Champion of the World. Billy Hope seemingly has it all with an impressive career, a beautiful and loving wife, an adorable daughter and a lavish lifestyle. When tragedy strikes and his lifelong manager and friend leaves him behind, Hope hits rock bottom and turns to an unlikely savior at a run-down local gym: a retired fighter and trainer to the city's toughest amateur boxers. With his future riding on guidance and tenacity, Billy enters the hardest battle of his life as he struggles with redemption and to win back the trust of those he loves. (C) Weinstein

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