DVD Review: Southpaw
Jake Gyllenhaal and Forest Whitaker take what is essentially a predictable genre boxing film and turn it into a riveting story through the power of their performances, bringing their characters to life.
Gyllenhaal plays the role of Billy “The Great” Hope, the reigning Junior Middleweight Boxing Champion of the World. Billy has it made. He’s got an impressive career, a sexy, loving wife, a daughter and the lifestyle of the rich and fomous. Yes, our boy has it made. There’s only one problem: his ego. It’s Hope’s ego that leads to the films turning point, a tragic and sadly easily avoidable incident see’s Hope’s world tailspin out of control.
As if tragedy wasn’t enough, Hope’s lifelong manager and friend leaves him to chase the money, and Hope hits rock bottom.
Enter stage left, Tick Willis (Whitaker), a retired fighter and trainer with issues of his own, but an uncompromising style and an insistence of rules, work and no ego.
Though predictable and a little too feel good at times, Southpaw is also and emotional heartbreaker and a powerfully told story. With a combination of awesome boxing scenes with the acting of Gyllenhaal and Whitaker, the predictability of Southpaw manages to take a back seat and has you riveted to the screen for the duration.
Rating: R16 Violence, offensive language and content that may disturb.