I love boxing movies. I love Jake Gyllenhaal. And after Olympus Has Fallen (I still haven't gotten around to The Equalizer) I'm even warming up to director Antoine Fuqua. So I'm pretty excited about Southpaw, better known as That Boxing Movie Where Bubble Boy Got Totally Jacked. Now we've got our first look at the film via the trailer below, courtesy of Eminem's YouTube channel. Thanks, Slim Shady.
This has all the hallmarks of a classic boxing movie, including a down-on-his-luck ex-champ with an awesome name (Billy Hope!) who trains in a dingy old gym with an irascible trainer to take on an eminently hateable opponent. It's basically the exact plot of Rocky III (which might be my sneaky favorite one) in which Burgess Meredith is played by Rachel McAdams. I'm also already kind of in love with Billy Hope, as he appears to possess some sort of goofy pugilistic superpower in which he can absorb the power of all the punches to his face and then unleash them on his opponent in the final round. (Which, for what it's worth, is basically how Rocky beat Clubber Lang.)
Gyllenhaal's impressive musculature has been getting plenty of attention so far, but how about those teeth! Good god. Paired along with that mad dog stare and it looks like we're in store for a healthy dose of Flirting With The Edge Of Psychosis Gyllenhaal, which is easily my favorite of all the Gyllenhaals. The guy is on a crazy hot streak right now and Southpaw looks like a worthy successor to Prisoners, Enemy and the criminally under-appreciated Nightcrawler.
That said, I kind of can't wait to see what kind of weird left turn his career takes next. I wouldn't mind a resurgence of Goofball Gyllenhaal, to be honest.