Fight or flight is a choice so natural, it’s baked into the DNA of almost any living creature. Humans are particularly adept at making this choice, and Halle Berry’s protagonist in the Netflix original film Bruised faces down that question from the beginning of the film’s trailer. Berry herself confronted similar choices when securing the movie as her directorial debut, and those choices have made all the difference, as we get to see her go full savage as a fighter and a director.
In the universe of Bruised, Jackie Justice (Halle Berry) is a former MMA fighter who left the sport on bad terms. Working as a maid, she’s far from the life she used to lead as an in demand athlete. But her life is about to change, thanks to Jackie working her way back into the world of professional MMA fighting, while also learning to care for Manny (Danny Boyd, Jr.) the son she is reunited with after his father’s death.
Redemption in the world of the UFC doesn’t come easy, especially when watching some of the fights that Halle Berry takes part in throughout Bruised’s first look. Through a role that was originally written for Blake Lively, Berry turned Bruised into what she considers proof that careers for female actors don’t end at 40. Dedicating herself on both ends of the camera, Berry even saw herself working with broken ribs in order to keep the film on schedule.
You can feel that determination throughout the Bruised trailer, as the fights presented really are savage looking. Even for a trailer that can’t show the deeper end of the brutality, Halle Berry’s battles in the ring are just as powerful as those outside of it. Balancing that action with the emotional minefield that Jackie Justice is navigating as a mom who’s trying to be there for her son is the sweet spot that Bruised is looking to hit. Much like movies like the Creed franchise before it, this is a story about fighting for family and honor in equal measure.
All of makings for a powerful directorial debut are seen in the trailer for Bruised, with Halle Berry set to make another mark of her own in Hollywood. At this point, it feels like the only place she has left to conquer is the moon. Which, thanks to her upcoming role in Roland Emmerich’s disaster film Moonfall, isn’t too far off from happening. The next couple of months could be really good for Berry, especially if Bruised lands the right punches with awards voters, just before Moonfall tries to claim box office victory.
Bruised takes aim for select theatrical release on November 17th, with Netflix debuting their original film on streaming starting November 24th. If you want to see what else Netflix has to offer in the world of movies, there’s a comprehensive listing waiting for your perusal. And if you want to see what’s coming to theaters throughout the rest of the year, the 2021 release schedule is where you want to head next.
CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.
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