Release date: July 24, 2015
Opening weekend revenue: $16,701,294
Lifetime gross: $51,289,443
IMDb rating: 7.7/10
Personal rating: 6.3/10
Undefeated professional boxer Billy Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal) is 43-0. His offensive, sometimes reckless, boxing style has done him well in his perfect boxing career. His wife Maureen (Rachel McAdams) is tragically killed in a brawl between Hope, the trash talking, title-hungry boxer Miguel “Magic” Escobar and their entourage.
After going into a harsh, depressed downward spiral, Hope ends up losing custody of his child Leila (Oona Laurence). Rejected by society and his own kin, Hope is forced to start his career over again with an underground trainer named Tick Willis (Forest Whitaker) to try and defeat the current champion Escobar and avenge his wife’s untimely death.
A 6.3/10 rating is a very generous one. If I were to rename the movie, it would be “Southpaw: the Great Disappointment.”
From the opening scene to the final credits, “Southpaw” was an enormous let down.
After Gyllenhaal’s performance in “Nightcrawler” I had high expectations for him in this follow-up film.
Gyllenhaal was not this film’s undoing. He gave a good performance for the script he was given. The issue was the poor writing and lack of connection with the characters.
There is a conversation where Hope finally gets Willis to train him. In which Willis tells Hope to be at the gym the next day, and Hope asks him “To train?” and Willis replies “No, to bake cookies.” That was one of the most pathetic, predictable, and in all honesty laughable lines I have heard out of a movie in a while.
The scene where Hope’s wife dies is an awful one. It consisted of McAdams’ poor ability to portray someone who is dying along with Gyllenhaal’s repetitive chant of saying “baby” over and over again.
Willis is thrown into the movie way too late to be as important as a character as he is. Not only that, but the lack of background knowledge makes it hard for any viewer to feel emotionally connected to him.
Save your money, do not go to the theaters to see this movie. Stay at home, and wait to see it on TV when it plays over and over again.