I recently got a chance to see Jake Gyllenhaal’s newest flick, Southpaw. While some parts left me feeling a bit confused, for the most part, I really enjoyed it.
The quick synopsis of the movie is a big time boxer loses everything and goes from his highest high to his lowest low based on a series of events that shook his world to the core. A majority of the movie is him fighting to get back on top, but not for the money or the fame, but for his daughter.
While the movie was just over 2 hours long, I somehow was still looking for a bit more. Some of the transitions and character development were a little rough, which leads me to believe that quite a bit of footage may have ended up on the cutting room floor. The camera work, story line and music were spot on though. Of course, I love staring at a shirtless Jake G., but Rachel McAdams, 50 Cent and Forest Whitaker all complemented each other brilliantly.
After doing some more reading up on the movie, I found out that the inspiration for the movie was drawn from none other than rapper Eminem’s life. Eminem has a fairly turbulent story so the movie was roughly based on his rise and fall and rise again in the public eye. Not so shockingly, Eminem was actually meant to be the leading role. Through some production and behind-the-scenes issues, it didn’t work out and Jake took the spotlight, but Eminem was still involved in the production by producing the music for the film.
Jake Gyllenhaal has a lot of shirtless scenes, which I must admit was my driving force to see the movie in the first place. His body is INCREDIBLE, but more so than that, his acting was once again on point. I am a huge Jake Gyllenhaal fan and I personally think he crushes every film he takes on. From Donnie Darko to The Day After Tomorrow to Brokeback Mountain and Nightcrawler, he covers such a vast spectrum of characters and truly nails them all. His performance in Southpaw was right on target. You’re left feeling the suspense and heartbreak he feels to the point of goosebumps popping up all down your arms.
I saw Southpaw with my cousin and brother. Each of us has a different taste in movies, yet all of us left the theatre satisfied because it really is a compelling film. It’s quite violent, but completely fine for anyone over the age of 15. With all of that being said, I definitely recommend Southpaw. Well done, Antoine Fuqua.