High Expectations For Southpaw

Jake Gyllenhaal Bulked Up Massively For The Role
Jake Gyllenhaal Bulked Up Massively For The Role

As soon as the trailer for ‘Southpaw’ ended I said to myself, “I have to see this”.

Occasionally films do that, somehow they just captivate you from the moment you lay eyes on the trailer. There aren’t any concrete reasons as to why ‘Southpaw’ was one of those films for me.

I mean, I think Jake Gyllenhaal is a fantastic actor and I loved his performance in ‘End of Watch’ back in 2012, but I certainly don’t go out out of my way to see his films. I also really enjoy sporting films such as ‘The Blind Side’ starring Sandra Bullock and Samuel L. Jackson’s ‘Coach Carter’ but yet again it’s not as if I live for these types of films. In fact, a lot of films that focus on sport are usually pretty awful, take ‘Goal!’ for example. Horrendous.

So although I can’t quite put my finger on why, all I know is that I am drawn hugely to this film and my gut instinct, which is usually a pretty accurate indicator, tells me that this will be an excellent, captivating and rather compelling watch.

When it comes to boxing films, it’s certainly in good company. ‘The Fighter’ starring Mark Wahlberg was very impressive, Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone’s 2013 comedy ‘Grudge Match’ was highly entertaining and of course it goes without saying, the ‘Rocky’ series starring that man again, Stallone.

The bar therefore has been raised very high and ‘Southpaw’ has a lot to live up to if it wants to consider itself among that elite group, and something tells me that it will. I could be completely wrong of course and I may well end up leaving the cinema in a furious mood having wasted an hour and a half of my life that I could have spent watching ‘Inside Out’ again. Ah, ‘Inside Out’, any excuse to mention that wonderful, wonderful film.

The film sees Gyllenhaal play boxer Billy Hope who tries to get his life back on track following the tragic death of his wife, Rachel McAdams, and the loss of his daughter, Oona Laurence, to child protection services. It certainly has all the tools to be a hit, and an emotional thrill ride at that.

The film also features Forest Whitaker (The Butler) who plays Tick Wills, the trainer Billy turns to, and rapper 50 Cent. We’ll gloss over that one…

So I hope my prediction turns out to be accurate, I have heard only good things so far. However I can’t wait to see it for myself and make my own mind up. As well as my own views, you’ll be able to hear the views of my two buddies and Film Night colleagues: Richie and Joe, because hopefully we’ll dedicate an upcoming episode to it.

That’s all for now. Stay tuned for more from myself and the rest of the Film Night Team, and be sure to subscribe!

–  Jack

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