Southpaw (2015)


Pros
  • To no surprise, Jake Gyllenhaal is electric, flat out spectacular
  • A more intense, brash boxing movie (this certainly isn't Rocky)
  • A few genuine moments of emotion, sad feelings for a father in that type of situation
  • Forest Whitaker was a nice addition coming in late to the movie

Cons
  • The overall story is way too familiar, it's just about every boxing movie 
  • With such a common story, the runtime of two hours is very noticeable
  • The 'southpaw' technique?
  • Completely rushes into the climatic fight at the end of the movie
  • Even the fights in the movie aren't all that exciting since they are to be expected
  • The irony of 50 Cent's role/status in the movie given the recent news of him being broke in real life

Score: 5/10

This will be short, Southpaw is about as straightforward as you would expect from a boxing movie. A once great fighter falls into despair only to be given another chance at redemption in some sort of title fight. This movie hit just about every single plot point you would expect it to. And that's what makes Southpaw feel so dull and unengaging, it holds too few surprises. He gets beaten down again and again only to find redemption later in the movie just as expected. This is the type of movie where if you've seen the trailer, you've seen the movie, period!

But to no surprise, however, Jake Gyllenhaal is the saving grace of the movie (the 5/10 score would certainly be lower if he had not been in this movie). He is physically committed (looks like a complete beast), but is also able to bring the necessary emotional state the character required. If he had not been in the movie, this would have been a complete disaster. He totally fit the role of the down on his luck boxer, but more importantly hit the role of the damaged father even better. And even though we know exactly what is coming to our 'hero', the performance by Gyllenhaal makes it seem a tad more enjoyable.

At the end of the day, you've seen a ton of movies like Southpaw. You could probably predict the ending of the story based on the trailers alone. Even though Jake Gyllenhaal gives it his all, the movie can't help but fail because of the extremely generic script. Instead, go watch The Wrestler again!