Flash Movie Review: Southpaw

For those of you fortunate enough never to have experienced a broken heart let me describe how it feels. The area around where the heart is located reacts just as if a physical punch was administered to the body; it hurts like a bad bruise, echoing dull pain over and over. Your center of gravity weighs more where it takes added effort to lift your feet off the ground to even walk across a room. With water making up a majority of the body’s composition, it gets redirected to spill out of your tear ducts at a moment’s notice. Hearing the beginning notes of a song could trigger this outpouring as easily as seeing a newly ownerless toothbrush sitting in your medicine cabinet. Some individuals experience the sense of losing control. I know for myself when I am feeling out of control I tend to focus on one single aspect of my life and hold onto it with a near death grip. My default option is usually my diet. Since no one has a say in what I can or cannot eat, my daily food intake is totally under my domain. In the past when I felt I was out of control my eating would take off as I tried filling the void that formed when control became unharnessed, free to do what it wanted to do. Now it is opposite, the more out of control I feel the more I control what I eat. The main character in this dramatic sports film had a different method.    BOXING champion Billy Hope, played by Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler, End of Watch), had the money, the fame and the big house; however, it did not matter when he lost the one thing money could not buy. I need to start with Jake for this review because he deserved extra credit for the grueling workout he put himself through to give extra meat to this role, so to speak. He did 2,000 sit-ups a day and was told by the director, Atoine Fuqua (Training Day, The Equalizer), they would continue filming even if his nose got broken in the fight scenes. Now the fight scenes, they were so intense at times I almost had to look away. The cast, which included Rachel McAdams (Aloha, About Time) as Maureen Hope and Oona Laurence (A Little Game, Lamb) as Leila Hope, was especially strong in their own right. Though Jake could snag a nomination for this role, the script was filled with cliches that kept the story from matching his acting abilities. I thought the scenes he had with Forest Whitaker (Taken 3, Lee Daniels’ The Butler) as Tick Wills could have been even more powerful if the script was better. In spite of this big flaw I was so drawn to the character that it carried me through the entire film. Several scenes had blood in them.

 

3 stars 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on July 28, 2015, in Drama and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Oooh it makes me cringe! I don’t like boxing at all.

  2. Hmm I’m not sure this is enough to win me over… The other half was keen but I’m just not- boxing. Blood. Unnecessary violence are all no-nos for me, so giving this a skip I think. Bring more Inside out 😉

  3. I like the way you end this.. ‘Several scenes had blood in them’ hahahahha sorry but that made me laugh. Super cliched script as you said..being a Sons of Anarchy fan I’m quite familiar with Kurt Sutter’s style of writing so I expected that. While J.G. was good – yes the physical transformation etc.. it was not a DeNiro -Raging Bull or even a Stallone – Rocky type good performance…and I say that being that’s how i looked at it. I think it was hard to overcome the script. good review!

    • Thank you so much for sharing your views here Peggy. I am not familiar with Sons of Anarchy; now that I know about the connection I will try to check it out. Thanks again.

  4. Loved it, very emotional .. You rated it right

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