Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Movie Review: Southpaw

Image found here.

I rented Southpaw because I had a Redbox deal, and I love both Jake Gyllenhaal and Rachel McAdams as actors. I'm not really into boxing (so violent!), so I kind of knew I wouldn't like that [main] aspect of the movie, but I thought maybe I'd enjoy it in the end.

Nope, I did not. Even these two beautiful actors could not save this film. First of all, Gyllenhaal is not actually that beautiful in this movie. He's supposed to be this tough, gruff boxer who grew up in an orphanage and had a hard life; a pretty boy wouldn't fit that bill. McAdams looked gorgeous as usual, but even she was supposed to be this woman who survived the same orphanage (where they found each other), so I could not relate to these characters and their backgrounds at all. They have a little girl (played by Oona Laurence), who kind of looks like a young Natalie Wood (à la Miracle on 34th Street) but not as cute; the whole time you're wondering how two good-looking people created this awkward looking child. So they are this little family all focused around his boxing career (i.e. how he supports them). But he has anger management problems (no kidding! He fights for a living!), and one day someone says the wrong thing, he reacts, and BAM! His wife gets shot and dies!

As if he weren't already a mess. So now he has completely fallen apart (drinking, doing drugs), he's been spending his money so extravagantly over the years that he's lost it all, and he actually attempts to kill himself by crashing his car into a tree (although earlier in the movie they show him with a gun, which would be a much more affective way to commit suicide...). He's then seen as an unfit father and his daughter is taken from him until he can pull his life together. He wants to keep fighting, but he needs to get a job, so he cleans up the gym where he can also train; he gets an apartment since his mansion was taken away. He slowly makes it back to some form of normalcy, but he's a boxer at heart.

In the end, he fights his enemy fighter, he wins, and it's supposed to be a happy ending. But because most of the movie is focused on the complete dysfunction of this man and his life, it's a sad movie as a whole. There's not much redeeming about it, even though his character redeems himself in the end. Meh, don't bother. I'm not sure this movie even deserves one star.

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