The journey of a dad who loses it all and fights to get it back
The boxing movie is nothing new in Hollywood. It has been around for decades and became quite popular thanks to the Rocky movies. These films were all about one man, a nobody who gets a chance to fight a champion and not one person thought they would actually win. But these films all show how with tough training and a drive anything is possible. Southpaw may seem to follow this formula, but trust me it doesn’t. The film goes places Rocky never went and really stands on its own and has the chance to change the way people see sports movies.
Billy Hope is a boxer who has never lost. He is someone who fights hard and usually gets pretty beat up in the process. He has a nice house, a beautiful wife and a daughter who loves him to death. Billy and his wife have been together for a long time and share a bond that is rare in film and real life. After a charity event something terrible happens. Billy is faced with a pain that no man should ever have to deal with. Quickly his life takes a rough turn and he literally loses everything he holds dear. With nothing left and much on the line it is up to him to find a way to get it all back.
But with no formal education and no real job skills his options are pretty limited. One day he goes into a local gym and is offered a job, one that he doesn’t want to do but it is better than nothing. With this small step things begin to pick up a bit for him. In a few months he is offered a chance at the title again, but this won’t be easy. His opponent is younger than him and someone who fights tough. How will he beat this guy? Who will train him? And will this help him get his old life back?
The film is a real redemption story. Once this tragedy befalls Billy the spiral downwards is real and sudden. Everything he worked so hard to keep just disappears. The way the film portrays this felt genuine and many men should be able to understand what this is like.
But the best part is watching Billy build himself back up. These are the best scenes in the entire movie, and viewers will love to watch how he changes here. In these moments the film makes no promises except that Billy will be a boxer with a chance of winning although there is never a guarantee that he will. In the final scenes there is a ton of carnage and blood between these two fighters but it is never known who wins until the last few minutes. The only thing I will say about the final act is that audiences will love every minute and many will be on the edge of their seats wondering how it will all turn out.
The soundtrack is spectacular with Eminem’s new song “Phenomenal” that really fits this movie like a glove. There are a few pivotal moments that really liven up the scene and will gets peoples blood pumping. The sets are wonderful and help bring each scene to a realistic plane. The inner city moments are especially good and help bring the tough moments to a degree that many people should be able to understand and feel the pain of the main character.
This is a good movie and men will surely love it for not only the violence but the story is a unique one that has them in mind. But the film will not be for everyone. Young kids shouldn’t see it because of all the violence and dirty language, and other people may find it too harsh for their tastes. For these reasons the film gets 7/10. It has some amazing performances by Gyllenhaal and Whitaker and those who like drama films will not want to miss out on this one.
If you enjoy sports movie, this is a film to run out and see with your guy friends. If you are looking for a good drama, this is the film you will want to watch. It brings a lot of new concepts to sports films and this alone makes it worth checking out.
Check out the trailer here: