I wanted to love this film. Sadly, I did not. Jake Gyllenhaal knows how to get to the core of a character, and Southpaw is no exception despite the annoying ghetto tough guy mumble he used for his character, Billy Hope, a fictitious boxer. The plot, however, is tedious and rife with clichés that aren’t even worth noting here—boxing and others. I also picked up a not-so-subtle racism that turned me off: the black or brown characters are one-dimensional and serve as either bad guys or helpers to Hope’s comeback. This struck me as particularly odd considering that the director (Antoine Fuqua) is black. A mildly interesting potential spark between Hope and his daughter’s social worker, Angela (Naomie Harris), was left undeveloped, dangling there through the movie like a wet snot. Yawn.
(AMC River East) D