Billy Hope (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) is the undisputed light-heavyweight boxing champion of the world. He is unbeaten over a career of 43 fights. He is happily married to beautiful Maureen (Rachel McAdams) and has a young daughter, Leila (Oona Laurence). His life seems perfect, but then, during a fracas with a rival boxer, his wife is shot and killed. They had known each other since they were 12 years old, and now the bottom has fallen out of his world. The death of his wife sends Billy into a downward spiral, resulting in him being barred from professional boxing for a year, the loss of his house and almost all his possessions and, most painfully, the loss of his daughter to the custody of Social Services. In order to gain back his daughter and restart his life, he seeks out a particular trainer, Tick Wills (Forest Whitaker). Now he is starting his life again, at the bottom.Written by
Since Jake Gyllenhaal had to lose thirty pounds for his role in Nightcrawler, he only needed to gain fifteen pounds for the role of Billy Hope by training twice a day, seven days a week. See more »
During Miguel "Magic" Escobar's ring entrance Roy Jones Jr. mentions that Miguel is a hard punching Colombian just like his compatriots Sergio Martinez and Carlos Monzon. Sergio Martinez and Carlos Monzon are two very well known Argentine boxers. See more »
Don't let him take this from you. Don't let him get into your head. You got one shot. Go southpaw. Go southpaw on his ass. You got to go out there and you... beat his ass!
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I guess there is just no new way of telling this story. A boxer on top of his world loses everything in the blink of an eye, then battles his way back. Every trite plot wrinkle is there. Every sympathy trigger is there. The writing is not bad. The story is as well told as it can be, but the story just does not need to be told again.
Jake was great. His transformation from the pale, ghoulish "Nightcrawler" to a ripped pro boxer is startling. His portrayal of the punchy, brutal fighter on a journey of redemption is every bit as good as one could expect. Top marks for Jake. And the boxing scenes are as bloody as you could ask.
So there are some good things in a very predictable movie. Overall, go ahead and watch it and enjoy it for what it is. Just don't expect anything new.
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