Jim Davis is an ex-Army Ranger who finds himself slipping back into his old life of petty crime after a job offer from the LAPD evaporates. His best friend is pressured by his girlfriend Sylvia to find a job, but Jim is more interested in hanging out and making cash from small heists, while trying to get a law enforcement job so he can marry his Mexican girlfriend. Written by
According to David Ayer, the script for Harsh Times (2005) was written in 1996. He wrote this script shortly after he wrote the script for Training Day (2001), which was completed a year earlier. The script is semi-autobiographical and is based on his own experiences. Like the character of Jim (Christian Bale), Ayer grew up in South Central LA, and joined the military. Upon returning to LA, he too found himself drifting into petty crime, and hanging out with his friend all day. He was able to pull his life together however, but some of his friends were unable to do so. As such, the character of Jim is a composite of both Ayer and a number of people he knew. See more »
In the scene where Jim discovers he has been rejected by the LAPD and goes into a violent rage, there are several inconsistencies with the shots of the traffic behind his Ford. For example, one shot shows Jim marching up to the car on his right, a bus passes the left side of his car. The following shot shows the same bus behind his car. Another following shot then shows no traffic behind his car for at least 100 meters. See more »
Unflinching film set in L.A. which informs and tests your ideas of the world we live in
Christian Bale is an actor who is never orthodox. His string of films have in general been breaking moulds and testing his own ability, and more often than not you leave the cinema thinking that you had seen something special.
Having revived the Batman series and out-Lynched David Lynch in "The Machinist", he has now tackled the troubled life of a war veteran who is trying to find a job in order to be able to settle down so he can marry and bring over his wife from Mexico. Alongside him is his best friend who is also in the same situation of finding a job but this time in order to satisfy his frustrated working wife. As always nothing goes as easily to plan.
The two lead actors end up struggling through job rejections, life, gangs, drugs and drinks, and also the struggle to move on from their carefree lifestyle when they were young. Responsibility is a difficult option for the pair of them. The problem is exacerbated by Christian Bale's character's flashbacks and hauntings to the war, which add a frightening and unstable edge to his character.
The film overall takes us on an unpredictable journey following the two men questioning ourselves what we would do if we were in their shoes, and watching the pair of them acting and opting for what they do can be unsettling. Acting is great, direction is interesting and you will not be disappointed. If you like Crash, then in some ways this is in the same vein but not alike to the movie. I thoroughly was interested and enjoyed this movie, and if you want a thought-provoking film then this is definitely for you.
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