Southpaw USA 2015 – 123min.
An undefeated world champion, Billy Hope takes hits like no one else, with satisfaction and incomparable rage. But his drive starts to wear on his wife Maureen, who is worried he has forgotten their family life with daughter Leila. After an altercation outside the ring goes horribly wrong, Billy has to learn to focus and work his way back up the ranks to get his life back and regain custody of his daughter…
Southpaw is predictable on all levels, starting with a bulked up Jake Gyllenhaal, whose surrounding hype is aimed straight at the Oscars. Complemented by his turn as a creepy little guy in last year’s excellent Nightcrawler, the actor confirms his talent with this performance as a man who is more wounded animal than human, who drips blood, sweat and tears with impressive violence. But one other thing is clear: with Antoine Fuqua, (Training Day, Olympus Has Fallen, The Equalizer) behind the camera, this movie has no nuance, finesse, or dramatic depth. With a screenplay that is clichéd at best and crude at worst, the director shoots a lot of close-ups of very ordinary characters without offering anything more than a redemption-in-the-ring story. Been there, done that: Raging Bull is the benchmark, and all this movie manages is a few sad bits and a build-up towards a big honking Hollywood finale.