Free Press Journal

Movie Review: Southpaw – Visceral Sports  Drama 


SOUTHPAWThe Caesar's Palace bout that could redeem Billy's life and career. JG
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Forest Whitaker, Rachel McAdams, Oona Laurence, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Naomie Harris, Miguel Gomez
Director: Antoine Fuqua 
Visceral and  inspirational, this  sports movie from director Antoine (“Training Day”) Fuqua  revolves around the aptly named Billy (Jake Gyllenhaal) Hope who (like many boxers in real life) rose from obscurity and poverty to the heights of pugilist stardom, only to lose it all. And make a comeback. Billy’s  life spirals out of control after his beautiful wife, Maureen (Rachel McAdams) is shot dead at a gala reception, and his only daughter, Leila  is taken into child protective services after he goes bankrupt, and  loses his grand home and sinks into self-destructive behaviour. Down but not out, Billy seeks the help of gym owner and trainer Titus “Tick” (Forest Whitaker,Wills, for employment and training for the biggest match of his career:  a fight, orchestrated by his former manager and promoter, Jordan (Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson) Mains, against the reigning light heavyweight champion, Miguel Escobar, who was involved in the ugly altercation that resulted in Maureen’s untimely death.
Southpaw does for Gyllenhaal what Prince of Persia did not. Simply put, he is amazing as Billy. Not only does he act well, he looks the part to a tee.  The supporting cast is more than adequate. But best of all is the message that boxing involves brains. Mohammed ( the former Cassius Clay ) Ali had proved that.