Review: ‘Bruised’ Results in a Split Decision

Jackie Justice (Halle Berry) used to be a fighter. Half a decade ago, it looked like she was bound for MMA greatness with an impressive UFC victory and another fight on the way.

But she lost. In many ways, she hasn’t stopped losing since. That’s where we find her at the start of Bruised.

When her son Manny (Danny Boyd Jr.), now nonverbal stemming from the event that killed his father, comes back into her life, she becomes inspired to give up drinking scotch from a spray bottle under the sink and get back in the ring. 

But will she stick to sobriety and embrace the support of trainer Buddhakan (Sheila Atim)? Or will she collapse under the weight of her past and her abusive relationship with “manager” Desi (Adan Canto)?

Even the best of them follow a fairly predictable template. Athlete (or team) in trouble. Athlete (or team) struggles to overcome those issues until they begin to experience success.

Athlete (or team) reaches a final contest where they either prove victorious or lose but learn a more significant lesson. The beats don’t matter so much as how the story’s told.

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