Billy “The Great” Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal), is the reigning lightweight champion of the world right now and everything is going well for him in life. He has the prefect wife, daughter, mansion, and all the money in the world. His wife, Maureen (Rachel McAdams) is the person who has always been by his side and supporting him with everything. She is really pushing for Billy to give up fighting now that he has nothing left to prove as a fighter. After a tragic event happens to their family, Billy collapses and everything starts to change. He loses his family, his house, and his manager. Billy is then suspended from boxing and can not box again for a few months. Billy really needs to come back strong and hires a new trainer, Tick (Forest Whitaker). Tick is well-known for his knowledge and great training of boxing. With his future on the line, Billy has to prove that he can have his family back and is still the champ.
First off, Southpaw has been one that I have been looking forward to seeing for a very long time and I left very disappointed. I often go into movies like this with very high expectations and I always end up more disappointed than I should be. There really wasn’t all that much about this movie that showed me it was a good film. The writing is where I noticed a major problem with this movie. I thought it was pretty cartoonish and sloppy. This is the type of movie that a lot of people are looking forward to seeing and I feel like with a better writer and a better director, this movie would do some great things. The first hour or so of this movie is pretty unwatchable, but it does pick up a tad bit once Billy loses everything.
The main reason I would say to see this film is because Jake Gyllenhaal is really good. Other than that, this is one I think you can wait on or skip. Gyllenhaal is pretty good in this movie and he was really the only reason I kept interest in this while watching it. He pretty much saved this movie from being bad to okay. Rachel McAdams is a very good actress, especially in HBO’s, True Detective. She showed me no signs of a good actress in Southpaw. She had a weird accent that bothered me throughout and it changed throughout the short time that she was in the movie. Forest Whitaker was pretty great though. I always enjoy seeing him do roles like this and he did not disappoint me at all. Gyllenhaal and Whitaker are the saviors of this film.
Southpaw really isn’t the type of sports movie that will make you say, “Wow!” This story gets very deep and serious, but the problem is that it just doesn’t go anywhere and when it tries to go somewhere, it is very predictable. This is the type of film I feel like I have seen over and over again, which sometimes can be okay, but there was nothing about this movie that showed me it was good, let alone enjoyable. It just gets very dull and everything turns into a revenge kind of story and it seemed like they really did not have all that much idea on where to go with this one. This is a movie that I think you can wait on if you are considering seeing it in theaters.
Overall, Southpaw does nothing more than disappoint. Even though we see some good performances from Gyllenhaal and Whitaker, the movie fails to be a good film.
Grade= C (Okay)