Halle Berry throws hard punches in ‘Bruised,’ but fails to make an impact.

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Halle Berry throws hard punches in ‘Bruised,’ but fails to make an impact.

In ‘Bruised,’ the Oscar winner shines as an actor, but his directing skills could use some improvement.

‘Bruised’ has spoilers.

Only a few scenes in Halle Berry’s directorial debut impress.

She throws punches, but they don’t seem to have much of an effect.

Jackie Justice was once a promising and potential-filled MMA brawler.

And right from the start, she’s more concerned with surviving than with becoming a famous fighter.

She’s out of the octagon cage and leading an obscure life after losing a fight right at the start of the movie that has her gripped with panic and fear.

Desi (Adan Canto) is her loser boyfriend.

She’s an alcoholic who keeps some booze in a spritz bottle for regular spraying.

And just when she thought her life couldn’t get any worse, her six-year-old son Manny (Danny Boyd Jr.), whom she had previously given up for adoption, reappears after his father’s death.

With a deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafen

‘Bruised’ doesn’t offer much in the way of novelty, but it does provide plenty of melodrama.

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Jackie’s character is well-developed.

She’s feisty, but only when provoked.

Desi establishes it when she enters an unofficial underground fight to find an opponent, only to witness Jackie being goaded by an opponent whose gender perplexes her.

She beats the other to a pulp at the conclusion of the fight.

This attracts the attention of Immaculate (Shamier Anderson), a promoter who is only interested in using her as a means of obtaining a UFC ticket.

There are too many plot points in ‘Bruised,’ which makes it a rather slow film.

Berry’s soiled image focuses far too much on her past rather than on what she plans to do about it in the present.

Manny’s trauma has rendered him deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly despondently despondently despondently despondently despondently despondently despondently despondently despondent

Only when she’s training with renowned instructor Buddhakan (Sheila Atim), who gets drawn into a bit of queer-baiting with Jackie that flames out in double-quick time, does she find some solace.

Then there’s her tense relationship with her perpetually drunk and pill-popping mother (Adriane Lenox), which only adds to the misery and complicates the plot.

The multiple layers simply serve to conceal the film’s actual focus.

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