Yes I know I’m a little late on this one but here we are.
Southpaw is about an undefeated professional boxer (Jake Gyllenhaal) whose life falls apart after a few tragic events. After hitting rock bottom, he finds a new trainer to try and turn his boxing career around and help the rest of his life fall into place. It all leads up to a final bout against a man who is partially responsible for the tragic events that occurred earlier.
It’s no Rocky, but this is still a very good boxing movie. First of all, Gyllenhaal is great again. The guy throws himself into every role he has. He’s been on a roll the last 5 years or so and doesn’t seem to have any misses. I’d go as far to say he deserves an Oscar as much as Leonardo DiCaprio does. But if he didn’t win one for Nightcrawler last year, I don’t think he will for this one. I’m not taking anything away from his performance, though, because it was great. Besides Gyllenhaal’s performance, the boxing scenes really make the movie. They are excellently done and might be some of the best I’ve ever seen. The movie keeps you entertained throughout. It slowed down at a point and right at the point it was starting to lose me it picked back up and got me back into it. I’ve never been a huge fan of either, but Forest Whitaker (he always just seems dull) and 50 Cent (even though his acting isn’t usually as bad as his music) both are really good in the movie as well.
Despite both of them being good, they are both underused, especially Whitaker. He plays the trainer and I would have liked to see a few more of the training scenes because they were one of the best parts of the movie. 50 Cent’s character does some things that don’t make a whole lot of sense and the movie doesn’t explain them very well. The plot is very simple (although it works enough to keep you entertained) and very predictable. I think the biggest problem was that the trailer gave away way too much of the movie. This seems to be becoming a common problem. I knew how the whole movie would play it based solely on the trailer. There weren’t any surprises which made it less enjoyable than it could have been.
Despite those flaws, the movie is still good and worth seeing for the boxing scenes and Gyllenhaal’s performance alone. I’m excited to see how Creed compares when it comes out later this year. Southpaw gets a 3.5/5 from me (Comparison Score: Rocky- 4.25/5).