Skip to main content

Dan's Review: "Southpaw" isn't anything new

Jul 30, 2015 10:07AM, Published by Dan Metcalf, Categories: Arts+Entertainment


Jake Gyllenhaal in Southpaw - © 2014 The Weinstein Company



Southpaw (The Weinstein Company)

Rated R for language throughout, and some violence.

Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Forest Whitaker, Oona Laurence, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Skylan Brooks, Naomie Harris, Victor Ortiz, Beau Knapp, Miguel Gomez, Dominic Colón, Jose Caraballo,  Malcolm M. Mays.

Written by Kurt Sutter.

Directed by Antoine Fuqua.

GRADE: B

REVIEW:

There’s a certain romance to the “boxing” movie. I not sure if it’s the catharsis of singular violence, the survival aspect or the gritty brutality, but there’s something about cheering on a sympathetic protagonist whose only weapons are his (or her) hands. Nothing captured this appeal more than Stallone’s Rocky series, having its nadir in the 1970s and 80s, but there’s always been an appeal to the “sweet science” on screen. Antoine Fuqua’s Southpaw is the latest boxing fable to hit the big screen, but does it pack a punch?

Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Billy Hope, the reigning welterweight champion of the world who enjoys all the trappings of his success; a mansion, cars, an entourage and being able to share his wealth with his family, including his beautiful wife Maureen (Rachel McAdams) and daughter Leila (Oona Laurence).

>>>Spoiler Alert<<<

Billy’s world comes crashing down after Maureen is killed in a freak accident involving gunplay in the lobby of a hotel where a rival boxer insults the champ. After Maureen’s death, Billy goes into a spiral then ends with him losing custody of Leila, his fortune and his boxing license.

With nowhere else to go, Billy turns to the Tick Wills (Forest Whitaker), the owner of a skid row boxing gym to help him get his life back in order. Eventually, Billy’s former promoter Jordan Mains (Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson) offers him a chance to fight again for the title against the man provoked the encounter that led to Maureen’s death. The end result is predictable.

Southpaw is a good, but common boxing movie. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say it’s the sum of many “Rocky” parts, especially Rocky II and 5, in which the hero loses everything, only to “return to his roots,” get back to “the fundamentals” and “reinvent” the way he boxes in order to triumph in the ring. The only think missing is a greased-up Stallone and Bill Conti’s Rocky trumpet fanfare music (“Ba, ba, ba, ba, bah, ba, BAH, ba, ba, ba…”).

Yes, Southpaw is tirelessly predictable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy rooting for the underdog one more time. Gyllenhaal is a fine actor who threw his body into the role 100 percent. The movie was originally written for Eminem to play Billy, but he thankfully backed out. Forest Whitaker also provides a great performance as the gym owner who’s seen his own set of troubles, while the rest of the cast is serviceable. It would have been better to see more of McAdams, though.

There are plenty of other “boxing movie” cliché’s in Southpaw that can’t be overlooked, in addition to its “Rocky” similarities. One of them is the tendency to make every fight seem exciting and full of punches. Anyone who forked over $100 for the latest Paquiao-Mayweather pay-per-view can attest that the reality of boxing isn’t exactly the stuff of a Hollywood story.



Southpaw Trailer



  • theBRIDGE Church Grand Opening!

    03/26/2017
    10:00AM — 11:30AM

    Join us this Sunday at 10am @ the Daybreak Community Center in South Jordan, UT!


  • Salt Lake City Gem Faire

    03/26/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    March 24-26, 2017, South Towne Exposition Center, 9575 S. State St., Sandy. Fri. 10am-6pm, Sat. 1...


  • Salt Lake City Gem Faire

    03/26/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    March 24-26, 2017, South Towne Exposition Center, 9575 S. State St., Sandy. Fri. 10am-6pm, Sat. 1...


  • Salt Lake City Gem Faire

    03/26/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    March 24-26, 2017, South Towne Exposition Center, 9575 S. State St., Sandy. Fri. 10am-6pm, Sat. 1...


  • Salt Lake City Gem Faire

    03/26/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    March 24-26, 2017, South Towne Exposition Center, 9575 S. State St., Sandy. Fri. 10am-6pm, Sat. 1...


  • Salt Lake City Gem Faire

    03/26/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    March 24-26, 2017, South Towne Exposition Center, 9575 S. State St., Sandy. Fri. 10am-6pm, Sat. 1...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    03/27/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • Music for a Festival

    03/28/2017
    07:30AM

    The Salt Lake Symphonic Winds join the Herriman High School Wind Symphony as honored guests in a ...


  • WJHS Football Fundraiser Top Golf

    03/28/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Fundraiser to raise money for West Jordan Football Team. Come out and show your support for our ...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    03/29/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    03/31/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • theBRIDGE Church Grand Opening!

    03/26/2017
    10:00AM — 11:30AM

    Join us this Sunday at 10am @ the Daybreak Community Center in South Jordan, UT!


  • Salt Lake City Gem Faire

    03/26/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    March 24-26, 2017, South Towne Exposition Center, 9575 S. State St., Sandy. Fri. 10am-6pm, Sat. 1...


  • Salt Lake City Gem Faire

    03/26/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    March 24-26, 2017, South Towne Exposition Center, 9575 S. State St., Sandy. Fri. 10am-6pm, Sat. 1...


  • Salt Lake City Gem Faire

    03/26/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    March 24-26, 2017, South Towne Exposition Center, 9575 S. State St., Sandy. Fri. 10am-6pm, Sat. 1...


  • Salt Lake City Gem Faire

    03/26/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    March 24-26, 2017, South Towne Exposition Center, 9575 S. State St., Sandy. Fri. 10am-6pm, Sat. 1...


  • Salt Lake City Gem Faire

    03/26/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    March 24-26, 2017, South Towne Exposition Center, 9575 S. State St., Sandy. Fri. 10am-6pm, Sat. 1...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    03/27/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • Music for a Festival

    03/28/2017
    07:30AM

    The Salt Lake Symphonic Winds join the Herriman High School Wind Symphony as honored guests in a ...


  • WJHS Football Fundraiser Top Golf

    03/28/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Fundraiser to raise money for West Jordan Football Team. Come out and show your support for our ...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    03/29/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    03/31/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • The best little shop for creative supplies is here! Join the nonprofit Clever Octopus Creative Re...


  • theBRIDGE Church Grand Opening!

    04/02/2017
    10:00AM — 11:30AM

    Join us this Sunday at 10am @ the Daybreak Community Center in South Jordan, UT!


 

 

Online Edition
Follow My City Journals on Facebook
Advertise with us

 

 

City Journals 9500 South 500 West, Suite 205, Sandy, Utah 84070 801.254.5974