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24th July
written by Adam

Broken down by rough life circumstances, undefeated Light Heavyweight Champion boxer Billy Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal) is forced to rebuild himself after losing his wife (Rachel McAdams) to tragedy and losing his daughter (Oona Laurence) to child protective services. Haunted by his former promoter (50 Cent) Billy turns to the one man possible of coaching him, the wounded but wise Tick Wills (Forest Whitaker). The rise to redemption will be a tough road to hoe, will Billy keep hope alive long enough to see the sun rise on a brighter future? SouthpawDirected by Antoine Fuqua this relative paint by numbers boxing tale written by Kurt Sutter is a bit of a mix-up featuring some good moves, some interesting moves, and some bad moves story wise. Leaving little to question and a modicum of suspense throughout, there aren’t really surprises involved as we’re walked from start to finish; and, in several cases, subplots are started but never finished or given the chance to justify their weight, strange. Obligatory montages and visions of lost love make for a chuckle inducing eye roll or two; but, interesting cinematography keeps the boxing sequences feeling real, claustrophobic, and intense. The late great James Horner’s semi ambient score makes for a fine tuned accompaniment throughout as well. Meanwhile, in the acting department, both Gyllenhaal and Whitaker have some great scenes together, although when solo momentum is lost. All told, we’re given a lot of emotion to chew on and some solid boxing sequences, but the downfalls of the screenplay make this less of a must see and more of a must rent. Southpaw is rated R.

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