Few films this year will provide the visceral thrill that Southpaw does. The Rockyesque take on the world of professional boxing comes from the pen of Kurt Sutter (Sons Of Anarchy) and sees him return to a topic close to his heart, that of the trials and tribulations of family.
The film also provides further proof (if any more is actually needed) on how fine an actor Jake Gyllenhaal has become. His take on the lead role, that of boxer Billy Hope is absolutely mesmeric. His time in the gym and time spent training to learn the techniques of boxing have paid real dividends.
Gyllenhaal fills the screen with electricity and menace and he makes the most out of what is a rather pedestrian screenplay. Sutter’s ability to plumb the depths of emotion is slight in this instance but as populist entertainment it hits most of the right marks.
This isn’t a story that challenges the viewer but one that can be completely enjoyed by the transformative nature of the performances. Don’t miss this film even if you are not that much of a fan of boxing. As an insight into the human will as told through superlative acting it is throughly engaging.