Coming to Bluray from director Antoine Fuqua, writer Kurt Sutter, The Weinstein Company and Anchor Bay Entertainment is a film with jab from a “Southpaw.”
Billy Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal) is the current title holder in boxing, enjoying the good life with wife Maureen (Rachel McAdams) and daughter Leila (Oona Laurence) Keeping his career going is Mains (Curtis Jackson) who sets up fight after fight.
After a recent win, Billy is confronted by hungry fighter Miguel Escobar (Miguel Gomez) who wants his shot at the title. At a charity event, Escobar taunts the hot-headed Billy and chaos breaks out and Maureen is the casualty.
Quickly he is dropped by Mains and everyone else who was on Billy’s ride to fame and glory. Falling down in every way possible, he loses all his possessions and, worst of all, Leila is taken as well.
Now Billy must start his life from scratch meeting trainer and gym owner Tick Willis (Forest Whitaker). Asking for a job and a chance, Willis becomes more than a trainer as the opportunity to win back his daughter and the title are in front of him.
The fight starts now!
Gyllenhaal as Billy once again turns in an amazing performance. This is clearly a man with a history of a rough life turning it around and making it huge in the boxing world. Trusting his wife to help make the right decisions for their life, he loses control of that life once the rug is pulled out. In great shape physically, Gyllenhaal’s boxer has seen one fight to many with obvious physical and even some mental disabilities.
That has never been the issue with Gyllenhaal as he’s constantly proven with such films as JARHEAD, ZODIAC, PRISONERS and the absolutely brilliant NIGHTCRAWLER. His ability to play each of these characters with such force as to make them memorable keeps me frustrated that there isn’t a gold statue on his mantle.
Whitaker as Willis is a coach who has a few problems of his own but I’m not clear on what they are really. Taking on Billy Hope has its problems and after some initial hesitation by both of the men, their relationship becomes a strong one.
Laurence as Leila is so sweet and vulnerable. Going from one tragedy to another she reacts as any little girl would. Once she has time to bring it all back together, Laurence brings strength and a sassiness that works.
Other cast include: Naomie Harris as Angela Rivera, Victor Ortiz as Ramone, Clare Foley as Alice, Beau Knap as Jon Jon, Skylan Brooks as Hoppy, Dominic Colon as Mikey and Rachel McAdams as Maureen Hope.
Anchor Bay Entertainment provides an extensive and wide array of film entertainment that includes STARZ original series, children’s entertainment, fitness, sports and films on Bluray and DVD. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.anchorbayentertainment.com)
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “Southpaw” three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. The biggest credit goes to Gyllenhaal who, once again, gives an amazing performance but is that enough? This actor certainly gives it a big heart which helps bring his story out with such compassion.
The relationship between father and daughter is just lovely which shows the duality of being a man who punches and knocks out for a living and being a loving father who wants only the best for his daughter.
The Bluray includes the special features of “Southpaw”: Inside the Ring, Deleted Scenes, Q&A with the Cast and Extended Training Montage.
In the end — believe in hope!