Director: Antoine Fuqua
Runtime: 124 minutes
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Forest Whitaker, Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson, Naomie Harris
Description: Boxer Billy Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal) turns to trainer Tick Wills (Forest Whitaker) to help him get his life back on track after losing his wife (Rachel McAdams) in a tragic accident and his daughter to child protection services.
Review: When the first promotional images for “Southpaw” were released, there was lots of respect for Jake Gyllenhaal. Before this he was a skinny dude in “Nightcrawler” and he turned into a very muscled man for “Southpaw” in a short period of time.
The life of Billy Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal) is about two things: boxing and his family. After successfully defending his world title, Billy is so hurt that his wife Maureen (Rachel McAams) convinces him to quit and spend more time with his family. His plans are disturbed by an emotional incident and Billy loses everything he cares about. He seeks the help of boxing coach Tick Wills (Forest Whitaker).
Besides the impressive physicals change he went through, Jake Gyllengaal is again very convincing in his role. He keeps delivering great performances, now it’s just waiting for that first Academy Award. The supporting roles are also strong. Rachel McAdams and Forest Whitaker are fantastic as well. Even Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson is solid.
The story is not very original. It has lots of clichés and the downwards spiral Billy is going through is a bit too long. It might lead to apathy from the viewers. Acting makes up for that, because you really hope that Billy eventually gets out of it. Where the movie manages to distinguish itself from other boxing movies is the great camera work during the realistic fights. Sometimes we see it from the point of view of the boxer.
Not the most original film, but “Southpaw” is good and has great performance.
Rating: 3,5/ 5