David Ayer in his debut grinds out a gritty pulp noir that more than once recalls Training Day, which he wrote and which is also a buddy flick with one of the pair a loose cannon. Ayer’s biggest asset here is Christian Bale, who’s asked to do a lot as Jim Davis, an elite Army Ranger discharged from Iraq and back in LA. Hoping to become a police officer, Jim bides his time stealing drugs from petty street hoods, visiting his girlfriend (Tammy Trull) in Mexico, and generally fucking up the life of his “homey,” Mike (Freddy Rodríguez) — which of course puts him at odds with Mike’s wife (a steely Eva Longoria). When Jim picks Mike up to go job-hunting and cracks open two 40s, you know the day is going to be a train wreck. Minor situations escalate into violent confrontations with ever-mounting stakes. Bale’s bristling persona cements the film, but as in Training Day, the wheels of reality come off before the day is over.
On the Web
Harsh Times's Web site:http://www.harshtimes.com/