Billy Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a boxing world champion who with his peculiar way of fighting, is allready used to take in lots of hits and creates a great suspense in the boxing ring, just to finish up his rivals with a stunishing K.O. hit. He has a great family life in a big house with his wife and his daughter until a tragic event tears up his family. Emotional problems and the drug consumption which it brings lead to a forced break in Billy Hope’s carreer and to the loss of his money and of the custody of his daughter. This is when the story of a man starts, who fell down from the top and is now ready to go throug rough training and conditioning to rebuild his life and get back his daughter.
This sports drama film released in 2015, directed by Antoine Fuqua and produced by The Weinstein Company is basically an underdog revenge movie. Although the boxing scenes are stunnishing and they make the film look like it had way more than just a 25 million dollar budget, it is definetly not a film about boxing. It’s a film about the selfsuperation of a traumatized man only driven by the will of reuniting his family. All this seemed already pretty clear after watching the trailers, but what I didn’t expect this movie to do is catch me in such an emotional way. The 123 minutes duration it has is no longer or shorter than it should be, it’s the perfect length for such a kind of movie. I was emotionaly entrained into the emotions of the main character and it made me forget about the seat underneath me at any time, it traped me in the story of this suffering man, this mostly due to Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance as Billy Hope, surely one of the top 10 acting performances I’ve seen in my life.
Once again he demonstrates his talent as an actor, this time with a character through which he is able to show a very dramatic and emotional performance. Gyllenhaal is visible on the screen during nearly the whole length of the film and he basically takes all weight and responsability for it on his shoulders. I doubt that anyone could have done this better than him.