Aarghhh! I can't stress enough how much violent sports disgust me. This includes boxing, wrestling, rugby and (American) football. With this in mind, please understand that I sat through 123 minutes of this blood sport so you wouldn't have to...unless of course, you are a fan. Fans must exist, sports like this make pots of money!

So, having said that, let me talk about this particular role. In my opinion, Jake Gyllenhaal must be attracted to movies that are bleak, bloody and (to me) boring, e.g., Donnie Darko, Zodiac, Nightcrawler, and Enemy. He is a fine actor and has been recognized as such in the industry, but he obviously wants an Oscar. Think John Garfield nominated for Body and Soul; Kirk Douglas nominated for Champion; Robert De Niro won for Raging Bull; Sylvester Stallone nominated for Rocky. Director Antoine Fuqua ("Training Day") might have pulled it off for Gyllenhaal this time.

The cast (the little girl was my favorite):
  • Jake Gyllenhaal ("Brokeback Mountain") Orphan Billy Hope has come through "the system" and has landed on both feet. He is a prize-winning boxer and has all the trappings of wealth and fame. He is NOT very well equipped for a setback. 
  • Rachel McAdams ("About Time") His loving wife Maureen came through the same system with him. She is his rock!
  • Oona Laurence ("Penny Dreadful") Leila is their adored daughter. She has to develop her own coping skills.
  • 50 Cent ("Last Vegas") This may be a spoiler, but I came to loathe Jordan Mains. Maybe he was just that convincing, huh?
  • Forest Whitaker ("Two Men in Town") Tick Wills trained a boxer at his gym who nearly won a bout with Billy; this means Tick is a good coach. His gym is run with NO flexibility. There will be NO profanity, NO striking out in anger, and NO drugs or alcohol. This is a guy I could respect!
As I watched, I was reminded that every toehold to success won by every boxer, is purchased with his or her own blood; unfortunately many of them are surrounded by bloodsuckers!

This is R-rated, so expect profanity, blood, tattoos, blood, sweat, blood, violence and blood. I admire the acting but not the cliché-ridden script. By the way, no one enunciates, so if you go to something like this for the dialog, you'd better have top-notch hearing or use closed captions. Just so you know....
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This trailer has spoilers:
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