Southpaw is a boxing drama that could go Toe-To-Toe with the best of them, probably landing even more jabs than most.
There have been plenty of famous boxing movies made over the years, none more popular than Rocky, and they mostly follow the same recipe. The hero goes on a journey to greatness, then falls from greatness, ensues a strenuous training program to become stronger than before and faces off against an ultimately better fighter and leaves you hanging on to your seat with nervous excitement and pulling for your underdog champ to fight his way to victory again.
Southpaw is no different, which is no problem because when you get performances like you do from the stars in Southpaw you could even find yourself missing the clichés tossed in the ring.
What is most impressive is Jake Gyllenhaal performance. The actor best known for playing dark and disturbed characters takes on a total physical transformation and delivers a stellar acting performance, he taps into his dark side as well, which brings across the torment that his character experiences in a convincing manner.
Southpaw is directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) and tells the story of Billy Hope (Gyllenhaal), boxing champion and family man. He is a fighter that doesn’t lose, he loves to get hit, it fuels him in his fights and always leads to the eventual annihilation of his opponents.
Billy’s wife Maureen, played by the lovely Rachel McAdams is of course not so pleased by her husband’s fights as the impact that it has on his body eventually starts having an impact on her emotionally and she pleads with Billy to start thinking about his family and long-term future.
Billy loves his wife and daughter and knows that Maureen is right but a great tragedy befalls the White household throwing his life into utter chaos. Tragically he loses Maureen and Billy spirals out of control. He can’t pay his bills, he can’t finish fights and he cannot take care of his little girl, slowly losing everything important in his life.
Our Hero though finds inspiration in his desire to win his daughter back and needs to get back on his feet and defeat all those demons that plague his conscience. So he finds an old school boxing gym managed by Tick Wills (Forrest Whitaker), who is a former professional trainer. It so happens he trained the only other fighter to defeat Billy in the ring and seeks his help to get him back into fighting shape.
It’s here where the obligatory training and jump rope takes place and Billy begins his transformation once again.
Southpaw is not a flawless movie, it’s is not the undisputed champion of boxing dramas but it’s really great all round. The acting is strong and the physical performances are outstanding. Fuqua moves you through the film at a steady pace, introducing you to the pivotal characters and setting up the next two phases of the movie really well.
You will find yourself following Billy and have that feeling of excitement watching him fight, you will feel his tragedy and you will ultimately be edging him on as he tries to fight his way out of his unfortunate situation.
DVD Bonus Features:
The DVD also boasts the following bonus features:
- Theatrical Trailer
- Director: Antoine Fuqua
- Rachel McAdams
- Jake Gyllenhaal
- Kurt Sutter (Writer)
- Victor Ortiz
- Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson
- Oona Laurence
If you love movies that inspire you and at the same time deliver a knock out blow of fighting and drama then Southpaw is for you. You can rent or purchase the Southpaw DVD now.
Last Updated: December 3, 2015