Southpaw

Southpaw is a good movie that could have been great. It starts very strong. A fighter loves his wife and daughter. He is a great fighter with a record of 43-0. After a potential opponent calls the fighters wife a bitch, they have it out, during which the wife is shot by someone.

Jake Gyllenhaal plays the fighter and does a great job. The actress that plays the daughter is really good as well. Their scenes together are what hold the movie together. The movie falls apart when the script starts dropping plot points in favor of the rags to riches to rags story of the boxer. There are things brought up, like who shot the boxer's wife, that are hinted at but don't go anywhere.

There are also some things that are explained in the most haphazard way possible. The boxer's trainer, who we only see in a scene or two before the wife's death, goes over to another boxer and trains him. If the commentators at the fight at the end hadn't said anything I would have not known who that guy was.

The movie is well directed by Antoine Fuqua, gave us Olympus Has Fallen and The Equalizer. Fuqua is a strong director, giving us memorable scenes and striking compositions. I have liked Fuqua from his first movie, The Replacement Killers, and I believe that I am the only person who saw Bait in the theaters and liked it.

Southpaw is a flawed movie that works past those flaws to give us a good boxing movie.