Director: Antoine Fuqua.
You know what, Jake Gyllenhaal delivers and I honestly think without his performance the film would be nothing. Though it's not his greatest performance. Gyllenhaal's character Billy Hope does take central stage and over shadows most of other characters. I don't think there was a balanced investment into them when compared to Billy Hope. The death of Hoppy in particular, just got swept up under the canvas too quickly.
Having said that, young Oona Laurence does an amazing job playing the estranged daughter and the two have their own boxing match of emotions outside the ring. Forest Whitaker is good too but wanted to see more of his character. Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson is an all out G but it's all business; sharply dressed and calculating; I think this is his best role to date.
Antoine Fuqua does a great job, it's a fresh, superb story; but I'm undecided about the ending, I'm not sure it delivers the punchline the rest of the movie actually deserved. Moll's dying scene is epic, emotional and powerful and watching Billy getting beaten up on all angles while on his downfall to self destruction is provoking. There just isn't enough energy to when he actually gets back up on his feet.
Not sure James Horner was the right composer for the score but it's a shame to hear this was his last soundtrack before passing (RIP James Horner) and honourable to hear he did it for free! The rest of the soundtrack suits the film with artist such as Eminem, The Weeknd, Frank Ocean and of course a track from 50 Cent himself. The film opens out with one of my favourite tracks Rob Bailey & The Hustle Standard's 'Beast'
I can imagine trying to produce a boxing movie that's both original and unpredictable to be quite a feat and Antoine Fuqua does a good job of it but it is no way the best boxing film since Raging Bull like some critics have said. I would rank this next to Real Steel and lacked the knock-out I was hoping for, though still a very good film and worth a watch.
Running Time: 8
The Cast: 8
Job Description: 7
The Extra Bonus Point: 5 for Jake's and Oona's Performance.