Main Plot Points:
- From acclaimed director Antoine Fuqua (TRAINING DAY) and screenwriters Kurt Sutter (“Sons of Anarchy”), SOUTHPAW tells the riveting story of Billy “The Great” Hope, reigning Light Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World (Academy Award® nominee Jake Gyllenhaal).
- Billy Hope seemingly has it all with an impressive career, a beautiful and loving wife (Rachel McAdams), an adorable daughter (Oona Laurence) and a lavish lifestyle. When tragedy strikes and his lifelong manager and friend (Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson) leaves him behind, Hope hits rock bottom and turns to an unlikely savior at a run-down local gym: Tick Willis (Academy Award® winner Forest Whitaker), a retired fighter and trainer to the city’s toughest amateur boxers.
- With his future riding on Tick’s guidance and tenacity, Billy enters the hardest battle of his life as he struggles with redemption and to win back the trust of those he loves.
What We Thought:
- Southpaw is good, but it’s not quite the film I was expecting. It’s more a drama than sports movie.
- Now don’t get me wrong, I know sports movies, especially boxing can be full of drama, but I wanted more boxing with this one. The Fighter and Rocky mixed boxing and drama well, this pretty much used the boxing as a backstory.
- The film to me is more about a man losing everything in his life and trying to resurrect himself. I don’t want to spoil too much for those that don’t know the big surprises, but Jake Gyllenhaal spends more time in court than he does in the ring.
- That being said, the film is extremely well acted. I don’t know why I don’t give Gyllenhaal the credit he deserves as an actor, but he is a good actor. He’s quite good in this. If you were surprised by him in Nightcrawler, you’ll really like him in this film.
- Rachel McAdams is always good. 50 Cent isn’t too bad. But the two standouts are Forest Whitaker and Oona Laurence. Whitaker has been a solid actor for decades, but this is his best work in a long time. Laurence plays Gyllenhaal’s daughter and goes toe to toe (pun intended) opposite her on screen father.
- It’s those scenes and story that make the film an outright drama more than sports movie. There are scenes that I know my sister will cry her eyes out while watching. It’s definitely more a family drama than sports movie.
- I do wish it had more action in it. I love boxing films and boxing can look amazing on the big screen. Director Antoine Fuqua is one of my favorite current action directors so I expected more of it. The film looks great, but it’s probably the least “Fuqua” film I’ve ever seen.
- Overall Southpaw is worth watching. I wanted more fighting, but I still liked the film. Bring tissues if you are the overly sensitive type because writer Kurt Sutter (Sons of Anarchy) brings the emotions and hits you square in the face with them.
Notable Cast & Crew:
- Jake Gyllenhaal
- Rachel McAdams
- Forest Whitaker
- 50 Cent
Recommended if You Like:
- The Fighter