Thursday 22nd February 2018,
The Transcript

Southpaw: undisputed champ, or bust?

By: Ross Hickenbottom, Transcript reporter


Approaching the theater to see Jake Gyllenhaal’s most recent film, “Southpaw,” I couldn’t hold back the excitement.

The typical “dude movie” about guys beating each other up always makes for an exhilarating couple of hours in a cinema seat, and with my favorite actor starring in this one, the hype was unbelievable.

We’ve all seen the “Rocky” movies, “Warrior,” “Never Back Down,” all seeming to follow the same plot line: someone fighting for a living, losing it all, hitting rock bottom, but at the end have their one shining moment and everyone lives happily ever after, right? Right.

Anyways, now I’m in my seat, popcorn practically gone after the half hour of previews, when the movie starts… BOOM, these guys are trading haymakers, blood gushing, the notorious spit and sweat showers. This movie is intense.

Intense like it’s only two minutes into the movie and I’m white knuckling the armrests. “But that’s not how a boxing match is…” I think. “You don’t just walk up to each other and throw the hardest punch you possibly can, hoping to knock the other guy out.” Boxing is more strategic than that. But not Hollywood boxing.

Hollywood boxing can be however they want to make it because at the end of the day, there’s still thousands of people paying to see Jake Gyllenhaal get the snot beat out of him and somehow still win the contest.

He loses his wife, his house and his daughter all within a week, but still comes out on top at the end of the movie. So cliché, but honestly, what else was I expecting? The typical lose it all, gain it back story is one that viewers can’t resist, and “Southpaw” was just an overloaded version of all of its predecessors in that category.

By the end of the movie, I honestly just wanted to see him knock this guy out and hear some more Eminem, but overall, I can’t say “Southpaw” was a “bad” movie. It’s just not taking Movie of the Year.

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