A tale of heart, of family, of struggle, or perseverance, and of course bad ass boxing.
This is the movie SOUTHPAW.
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Forest Whitaker, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson
Southpaw really delighted me. Not since Rocky have I seen a boxing movie tell such a multi-layered story (Million Dollar Baby and The Fighter get honorable mentions of course.)
I went in expecting to see some cool fights and a ripped Jake Gyllenhaal. What I got was a rollercoaster of emotion from some of the most talented (albeit underrated) actors working today.
* Note: If you haven't seen the trailer there are minor spoilers ahead.
- Jake Gyllenhaal put in work for this movie. I like this actor because he delivers no matter what he's doing. Early on in his career I didn't get the hoopla but after Nightcrawler, Prisoners, and now Southpaw I'm a huge fan. Gyllenhaal's Billy Hope is a guy who has had to fight for everything in his life. But aside from the bright lights of the boxing ring he's a family man who adores his wife and daughter. When that's taken away from him Hope has to fight once more to get back what he has lost. It's a fight to survive and Jake Gyllenhaal portrays it with raw emotion, heart, and at times humor.
- Rachel McAdams is one of my favorite actresses and one whose talents are underrated. She gets the Hell's Kitchen raised wife of a boxer to a tee but its the scene in which Maureen gets shot that McAdams delivers a memorable and heart wrenching performance. A brief role for this A-list actress but one that is the catalyst for the entire movie.
- I have to admit I didn't even know Academy Award Winning acotr Forest Whitaker was even in Southpaw but when he shows up as boxing legend Tick Wills business picks up. The interaction between he and Gyllenhaal is classic with Wills not willing to take any shit from Hope, but Hope able to knock down the walls Wills may have unintentionally put up himself.
- Oona Laurence is new to me but boy did she deliver! This young lady can act and I see a bright future for her. She is the other emotional compass point of this family drama ( that's right its not your ordinary boxing movie!) and you feel her pain, upset, and anger in every scene. She even slaps Jake Gyllenhaal!
- The soundtrack featuring Eminem was a star of its own and it rounded out the training montages nicely. It was also one of composer James Horner's last pieces and he is remembered at the end credits of the movie. That's going on my play list for sure!
Overall a great movie with alot of ups and downs. This one will be going into my collection to keep. And oh yeah, I'll be boxing again really soon!
Official Trailer for SOUTHPAW