Movie review: 'Harsh Times'

  • Updated: November 9, 2006 - 3:43 PM

Take two testosterone-fueled males, a psycho Iraqi war vet (Christian Bale) and a screw-up who spends his days wheedling beer money out of his wife (Freddy Rodriguez). Yoke them together for a day or two, preferably in a car cruising the worst neighborhoods of smoggy L.A. Have them talk trash, bust heads, bond furiously -- and speed straight toward boozy disaster.

That's the tired formula; while there are glimmers of a real movie here, director David Ayer quickly fumbles more serious themes with an unbelievable subplot about super-secret military ops in Colombia, then drops the idea completely. Of course the whole thing ends in tears. I'm inclined to join in.

  • *½ out of four stars Rated R: For violence, gore, strong language, sexual situations and substance abuse.
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