Southpaw – the movie

posted May 7, 2016, 1:37 PM by Bruce Gaughran   [ updated May 9, 2016, 12:52 PM ]
A few minutes ago, I watched, Southpaw, directed by Antoine Fuqua, or as I would characterize it, Rocky XXIII, without Rocky, Butkus, Moby Dick, Cuff and Link. The two hour movie is rated ‘R’ for the violence and language.

The story: “Billy "The Great" Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal), the reigning junior middleweight boxing champion, has an impressive career, a loving wife and daughter, and a lavish lifestyle. However, when tragedy strikes, Billy hits rock bottom, losing his family, his house and his manager. He soon finds an unlikely savior in Tick Willis (Forest Whitaker), a former fighter who trains the city's toughest amateur boxers. With his future on the line, Hope fights to reclaim the trust of those he loves the most.”

I wanted to like the movie, but even Gyllenhaal’s chiseled body and slightly over-the-top acting can’t save the storyline and the typical boxing movie fights. Spitting and vomiting blood seems to take center stage too often. Rachel McAdams, playing his wife, Mo, and Oona Laurence, playing his 10-year-old daughter, Leila, try to add heart and soul to the film, but it just isn’t enough. Forest Whitaker is one of my favorite actors. Unfortunately, he is just minimally supporting the Great White Hope story.

I would give it 2½ out of 5 stars.