Movie Review: Southpaw

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Southpaw came out this past Summer and was a meet with mostly high praise. And after watching the movie this weekend, I have to agree with most of those reviews. The movie, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Forest Whitaker, and  Rachel McAdams, was filled with great emotional moments, an overall great story, and plenty of boxing action.

In Southpaw, Gyllenhaal stars as Billy Hope, a great boxer who has everything that he never imagined. As a child, he grew up in the care of the state and never would have dreamed of the  levels he reached. The best thing to come out of his childhood was meeting his wife, Maureen (McAdams). She became his rock and took care of everything for him and their daughter, Leila (Oona Laurence). But when an altercation with a rival boxer named Miguel Escobar (Miguel Gomez) ends with his wife getting shot and dying, Hope’s world begins to unravel.

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After a series of erratic behavior, Leila was taken away from Billy and sent to live with child services. And in order to get her back, Billy must clean up his life and show the courts that he can maintain a stable home for Leila. After struggling a bit, Billy goes to trainer Tick Wills (Whitaker) for help. Wills is opposed to helping Hope at first but a bond forms and Wills does everything to help Hope overcome the odds.

Southpaw is a must-see for movie fans in my opinion. It has a little bit of everything that makes a great film. Director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) did a marvelous job with a great story and a great cast. All of the cast members mentioned before were amazing and addition performances by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Skylan Brooks, and Naomie Harris added to a stellar cast. And I cannot leave out the music Eminem and score of James Horner (Titanic), who sadly passed away shortly before the release of the movie. The sounds of this film just added another level to an already great movie.

 

Daryl Karpinski, Jr.

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