From director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) and writers Kurt Sutter (Sons Of Anarchy) comes the movie Southpaw.
Billy “The Great” Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal) is the reigning Junior Middleweight Champion whose unorthodox stance, the so-called “Southpaw,” consists of an ineloquent, though brutal, display of offensive fighting… one fueled by his own feelings of inadequacy and a desperate need for love, money and fame.
With a beautiful family, home and financial security, Billy is on top both in and out of the ring until a tragic accident leaves his wife dead and sends him into a downward spiral.
By Audrey Shine (Wild About Movies resident critic)
In the pantheon of terrific boxing movies – Rocky (plural), Cinderella Man, Raging Bull - how can an actor and a script find their niche and hopefully, a moment of distinction? Add Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, and Forest Whitaker in a rags to riches and back again story, with a lot of tension and compassion.
Southpaw features a script and style worthy of Jake Gyllenhaal’s talent and dedication to the craft. Aside from the physicality of the role, which was impressive, Jake convinced us of his sincerity and passion for this daughter’s (Oona Laurence) welfare and the huge complexity of his failure and ultimate recovery from disaster. There was real depth to this character (not just muscles) and that is noteworthy in a boxing saga. Rachel McAdams, as his wife (Maureen), is the reflexion of his story and his psyche. Her performance is one of the reasons for success for this movie, because she draws you into the whole story right off the bat. Forest Whitaker appears at Tick Wills, a tough, no nonsense gym owner who is trying his best to keep the kids off the street and train Billy Hope for a shot at a comeback. 50 Cent is Jordan Mains, Billy’s manager, who is both angel and devil to Billy’s career – you decide.
The violence of boxing is ever present in this drama, but so is it’s pure athleticism and competitiveness. Southpaw is not for the squeamish or for children (no way!), but it’s a story of mistakes and redemption – and that makes it worth seeing.