I Saw That!

One woman's opinions about popular entertainment.

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Amateur boxing coach, Christian (but not so heavenly-minded that I'm no earthly good) singer, writer, self-defense advocate, childfree. feminist www.smartwomenboxingtraining.org

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Southpaw (2015)

Billy Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal) wins a boxing title, and he's on top of the world.  His wife, Maureen (Rachel Adams) has got his back, and the couple's daughter, Leila (Oona Laurence), is a smart girl.  But this is a boxing movie, and that means the main character has to go through hardship and be tested.

Billy loses everything in a rapid fashion.  An out-of-the-ring altercation with another boxer (Miguel Gomez) looking for a title shot leads to the accidental murder of his wife.  Billy's daughter is taken away and put in child protective services.  His manager, Jordan (Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson), moves on from him.  Billy's house is foreclosed on.

Billy ends up on the doorstep of a gym run by ex-boxer Tick Willis (Forest Whitaker), in search of a job as well as a trainer.  But circumstances threaten to keep Billy down for the count permanently.

This film got mixed reviews, mostly on the down side.  But it's not bad.  As the film goes on, it gets easier to root for the main character.  However, I had a problem with the wife being jettisoned early on as a catalyst for the main character to start a journey.  Why does the woman character always get treated as a throwaway?  I wish more exploration had been opened up on the Tick character's life.  Tick seemed to have an interesting back story which the audience only learned a little about.

Gyllenhaal's punches and movement in the ring looked solid, especially the punches that were thrown in the fight that ends the movie.  The film also included real-life members of the boxing community for authenticity:  Jim Lampley and Jimmy Lennon Jr. (announcers), Lou Di Bella (promoter), and Roy Jones Jr. (boxer/announcer).

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