A year on from the Oscar nominated Foxcatcher, I get the feeling that sports films are on the rise. Sure, there will never be another Rocky, but Southpaw could be a very good sports film in its own right.
Southpaw stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Billy Hope, a volatile heavyweight boxing world champion. Hope is the type of fighter that fights harder when hurt, and that attitude translates into his private life. That leads to him getting in trouble for a provoked attack outside of the ring, resulting in him being banned from boxing for a year and losing custody of his daughter (played by Oona Laurence).
This is Jake Gyllenhaal’s first major starring role since his BAFTA nominated performance in Nightcrawler, so I’m very excited to see this. Much has been made about his body transformation for the role, and going from stick-figure cameraman in Nightcrawler to heavyweight beefcake is quite remarkable. That’s Hollywood for you! The film also has a strong back-up cast, including Oscar winner Forest Whitaker and Rachel McAdams.
Southpaw is directed by Antoine Fuqua, whose previous works include Training Day and The Equalizer, both starring Denzel Washington. He also directed recent action movie Olympus has Fallen, and you can see in the trailer that this film is very special effects action, just with a different type of guns!
Set for release on 24th July, I have seriously high hopes for this film! It might not be a big box-office success, as it’s not your typical summer movie, but I think the critics will love this film! Sports movie are on the rise, Gyllenhaal is getting into some serious form and Fuqua is not going to try to make a new Rocky – this has everything it needs to be a surprise awards nominee!