Trailer Of The Week: What Doesn’t Kill You

Trailer of the Week is a little weekly column I plan on tackling from here on out that covers some really good movie trailers for films that might have gone under your radar. Sometimes, a film gets a kick ass trailer and ends up being complete garbage and vice versa. With Trailer of the Week, I plan on tackling film trailers of all genres, from romance and comedy to foreigns and horror.

I won’t have a time cap on it either, so expect films from the past ten to twenty years or even this past year. My goal is to introduce a variety of well-made trailers, for hopefully well made films, but that isn’t always the case. In addition to the trailer I hope to give the viewer a rundown on the film, from its box office success to its troubles getting financing. I want you to leave the post wanting to check out the film or at least having a sense of enjoyment from viewing the trailer. So sit back and strap in for the ride!

Based on events from director Brian Goodman‘s real life; What Doesn’t Kill You is a gritty crime drama that takes place in Boston and follows two best friends, Brian (Mark Ruffalo) and Paulie (Ethan Hawke) who are  just trying to get by in life doing whatever quick buck job floats there way. Soon, petty crimes turn into serious offenses which lands both of them in jail. After being released, Brian decides to clean up his life and do right by his family while Paulie is lining up the next heist.

What Doesn’t Kill You is an excellent drama about struggles and hardships and how important friendship really is. The trailer might originally give off an over dramatic feel, but it gets on track fast once Mark Ruffalo and Ethan Hawke hit the scene.

Both men are superb actors and they give some really memorable performances here, more so Mark RuffaloEthan Hawke is never probably going to give a better performance than the one he gave in Training Day, but What Doesn’t Kill You proves that he gives it his all even if the film isn’t marketed for a wide release or any release at all. He’s tough and hard headed as Paulie, but still a true and caring friend. Only an established actor like Hawke could give such a double sided performance and he does it flawlessly in What Doesn’t Kill You.

The real star of the film is Mark Ruffalo who proves again why he needs to be getting more leading roles. Brian goes through a lot in What Doesn’t Kill You and Ruffalo gets that point across the screen without hesitation. The whole film focuses on Brian’s struggle with his friend Paulie, his family, drugs and jail and Ruffalo brings such a clear range of emotions. Brian never feels like the bad guy or the good guy, instead he just feels like an everyday guy who has to deal with the presented options. It’s not easy supporting a family in the crime ridden area of South Boston, but Brian tries his best and his struggle is truly a motivational one.

I think it’s also worth mentioning that the whole film is based on the real life story of the director, who also serves as a writer, producer and actor. Who better to tell such a personal story than they guy who lived it? I’m sure it must have been an experience for Brian Goodman reliving his past struggles in order to recapture it faithfully on film.

The trailer gives a complete rundown of the story and a brief peek at Ruffalo and Hawke’s great performances. It isn’t the flashiest trailer I’ve seen, but it’s cut together very well. I was kind of shocked to find out that the film never got a big release in the U.S., but luckily for us it can be viewed on DVD or Blu-Ray.

Check out this week’s Trailer of the Week below and feel free to drop a comment or two below!

Previous Week: Southland Tales