Harsh Times

Christian Bale stars as a caricature of the battle-damaged veteran. Spending a couple of days in Los Angeles with his best friend, Mike (Freddy Rodriguez), he rapidly descends into plotless violence and gratuitous use of the words “dog” and “homey.” I guess Harsh Times is supposed to be about a man who’s been remade as a warrior and then released into society without proper retraining, but its lack of narrative direction keeps the unlikable central character from being interesting. Plus, in spite of the story being a random set of events, it becomes increasingly predictable until the ending you’ve been praying for appears with all the subtlety and sincerity of a Ted Haggard diatribe on the evils of homosexuality.

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