David Ayer | 2005 | 116 min | US
So David Ayer is kinda just into this one thing, hey? This "crazy day of drugs and guns in LA" thing? The writer of Training Day made his directorial debut with another of his screenplays here. At least this one is better than Training Day. That statement might not seem like much, but it is remarkable when you consider how over the top Christian Bale's performance is here. Despite his wild-eyed, screaming, crying, overwrought acting, he is still surpasses Denzel Washington's horrible scenery chewing by leaps and bounds.
Bale plays Jim Luther Davis, a fucked up Gulf War vet who has come back to Los Angeles as an unemployable, drug-addled psychopath. He clings to his last shreds of sanity in the form of best friend Mike Alonzo (Freddy Rodriguez). The two laugh, drink forties, pretend to look for jobs, steal from drug dealers, et cetera. Typical summertime fun. Then things get weird, people get high and uncomfortably weepy, and the whole back-to-normal-life-after-the-war fantasy falls apart mightily. Its a light snack for Bale, but if you like him, you should enjoy Harsh Times. It looks, feels, and sounds like Training Day, except its good. Why did anyone like that movie?