Though boxing movies and Jake Gyllenhaal both tend to draw audiences, the combination of the two is not causing critics to love the movie Southpaw.
According to the Inquisitr, reviews for Southpaw have been largely mixed, but Gyllenhaal’s performance has been commended. The critics have also praised Rachel McAdams, but regret the cliché-filled script.
“Does it succeed? Sort of. It helps if you don’t mind your boxing movies made up of massive granite chunks of previous boxing movies. Just don’t confuse Southpaw with a really good example of the genre and its ringside dramatic possibilities, whether old (The Set-Up, Champion) or newer (Raging Bull or the less grandiose The Fighter). The script may have hamburger for brains, but Fuqua slams it home with the help of actors who give their all — even when giving a little less might have made things more interesting.”
— ESPN (@espn) July 24, 2015
The Christian Science Monitor also praises Gyllenhaal, while considering the script to be a bit trite.
“It’s a tribute to Gyllenhaal’s shape-shifty talents that “Southpaw” is as watchable as it is despite the fact that director Antoine Fuqua and screenwriter Kurt Sutter pummel the audience with so many hoary boxing movie clichés that at times the film resembles nothing so much as a Greatest Hits reel.”
When thinking about other boxing movies, Southpaw seems to fall short.
“Whenever I’ve mentioned this film to friends, the response always comes back, ‘Why bother after Raging Bull?’ Southpaw doesn’t simply draw on Scorsese’s film, it also filches from such fare as The Set-Up, Fat City, Rocky, Somebody Up There Likes Me, Million Dollar Baby, and, especially, The Champ (both versions). It’s less an homage than a shameless attempt to push all our buttons. It’s the greenest film in town – 100 percent recycled goods.”
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— #DelorenCMusic (@DelorenC) July 25, 2015
Entertainment Weekly believes that the brightest spot of the tale of Billy “The Great” Hope is his relationship with the owner of a skid row gym (played by Forest Whitaker), when Billy is down and out, and struggling for a comeback. Chris Nashawaty has nothing but praise for Gyllenhaal’s performance.
“Gyllenhaal’s Southpaw performance is great, but for reasons unrelated to his physique. He’s thrilling to watch and the only unpredictable thing in a two-hours-plus movie where you can count on one hand the number of moments that aren’t hand-me-downs from better boxing films like Rocky, Raging Bull, and Fat City.”
— XXL Magazine (@XXL) July 25, 2015
So, you still want to see Southpaw?