Southpaw is high on punch, but low on script.
Antoine Fuqua’s latest venture isn’t huge or the next best thing in a series of boxing movies we have seen so far. He had a clichéd script with him which he tried to weave into a movie. So what works in his favour and how did he manage to pull it off? The answer – Jake Gyllenhaal. Period.
You can almost read the tenacity in Jake’s eyes, the commitment in his body and the way he pulls anything off. He has gone pro in acting and he wears every skin endeavoring to erase his name, to don a character so brilliantly that people forget the guy under the skin. He creates a new personality altogether that walks, moves and talks differently.
Whitaker does a pretty good job as a trainer. Drama isn’t that great but manages to pull through, at times visiting sentient frames. The movie misses out on imparting gravity to characters like Jordan Mains, Hoppy, Jon Jon etc. who work as mere backdrops to the badass Billy Hope. Escobar played by Miguel Gomez disappears like noise too, since he fails to properly unfurl his limited time perversion.
Some of the badass bits that are worth noticing are – when the flick begins in rad pizazz with Hope listening to music whilst getting wrist wrapped. Ample time is spent on the beginning act which looks pretty dope. Also the aftermath of Billy losing Maureen has been shot pretty nicely. The father-daughter relationship that goes sour has been properly depicted by both Jake and Oona’s acting prowess. The boxing matches are pretty great to watch. Thrilling and the way it should be – natural.
Southpaw loses out on intensity. The story is quite clichéd and the screenplay doesn’t raise brows. At the end of it becomes nothing but mediocre. If it weren’t for Jake Gyllenhaal’s awesome acting, the movie could have simply passed as yet another boxing movie where the actor is bent on seeking redemption.
Go watch it if you love boxing, or Jake. 😉