Jake Gyllenhaal is rapidly becoming the new go-to actor for extreme bodily transformations. After reducing himself to a state of gaunt creepiness for the unsettling Nightcrawler, he’s now turned himself into a rippling pile of muscles for The Equalizer director Antoine Fuqua’s new boxing drama, Southpaw. Originally slated to star Eminem and touted as a “spiritual sequel” to 8 Mile, the movie appears to be an odd blend of frenetic sports-flick intensity and father-daughter relationship dramatics. After his wife is killed during a brawl in a fancy lobby, Gyllenhaal’s champion boxer loses custody of his daughter, and takes a job in a gym run by someone who is surely mistaken for Forest Whitaker every day, because he’s played by Forest Whitaker. Southpaw looks like it hits a number of familiar beats, from the necessary humbling to the “chance to reclaim your glory” fight opportunity. But mostly, it looks like a chance to ogle an extremely buff Jake. Southpaw is scheduled for release on July 31.
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