Published on July 25th, 2015

Grade: A-

Southpaw, the latest film, from director Antoine Fuqua hits theaters this weekend. Pun intended of course.

In this boxing film, we find a very buff Jake Gyllenhaal in the role of Billy Hope, which is yet another transformation for this chameleon of an actor. It doesn’t matter what role he is playing. He will make sure you are willing to buy it. And that’s the mark of a fantastic actor.

Billy Hope’s story is one like you would expect. The champ is knocked down and has to find redemption. A very simple tale, that has been told time and time again. But these film makers mold the story in such a way that keeps the audience interested and cheering for Billy till the end. Even after you watch him make the painfully stupid mistakes that lead to his demise.

While there is plenty of Boxing action in the movie, It’s really a character driven film. So when you go that route you know that good actors have to be involved. I’ve already praised Gyllenhaal for his performance. But the supporting role of Tick Wills played by Forest Whitaker was an important one. But just like Gyllenhaal, Mr. Whitaker has a great consistency to give quality performances.

Also doing a fantastic job were the lovely ladies in this film. Rachel McAdams stretching a little to play the role of a girl that grew up in the poor part of town, supporting her man through the rough times and all the way on his rise to the top. Then there’s the young Oona Laurence as Hope’s daughter Leila. She is absolutely heartbreaking in several scenes.

I only have a couple of complaints. Some of the slang was hard to understand. I understand authenticity, but I want to know what is being said. Also my other and final complaint. Some of the crazy camera effects. I get they were trying to put you in Billy’s shoes. But it was hard to keep focus when the image is out of focus.

Overall I enjoyed the film. It was a good quality movie, with great acting and a well rounded story. It’s a good drama. If you enjoy boxing films, you are sure to enjoy it. If you like heart touching rated R drama/action films. You’ll probably enjoy it.


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