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MMA Crossfire – Southpaw overcomes early knockdowns to win your heart

Southpaw, the boxing drama starring Jake Glyllenhaal as troubled boxer Billy Hope opened officially in North American theatres today.

MMA Crossfire’s Kenai Andrews shares his thoughts on the film.

Welcome back to The Crossfire.

MMA Crossfire

Southpaw has a running time of 123 minutes and an estimated budget of $30 million USD. It is directed by Antoine Fuqua, and written by Kurt Sutter.

Courtesy The Weinstein Company.

Southpaw is a film that throws as many boxing movie cliches against the wall to see what sticks early.

Rachael McAdams’ character as Hope’s wife Maureen is not developed properly, to the point where Gyllenhaal is burdened with trying make us care about her.  I would be interested to hear her thoughts on her role.

Just when I thought the movie had lost its way, Forrest Whitaker’s performance as Titus “Tick” Wills helps Gyllenhaal and Oona Laurence as Hope’s daughter Leila, right the ship.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Forest Whitaker’s chemistry is crucial. Courtesy Fuqua Pictures, The Weinstein Group.

The trio’s solid performances, along with the very good fight sequences with Victor Ortiz as Hope’s rival Miguel Escobar, helped win me over in the end.

A more memorable music score would have given the movie a boost, but as it is, Southpaw ultimately overcomes its many faults with timely acting and crisp action.

***1/2 stars out of 5

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Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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