Unappealing, Ultimately Weak Morality Tale
Release Date: November 10, 2006
Genre: Urban Thriller
Runtime: 116 minutes
Director: David Ayer
Executive Producer: Christian Bale
Producer: David Ayer and Andrea Sperling
Writer: David Ayer
Address Comments To:Dan Taylor, President
Harry Evans Sloan, Chairman/CEO
Clark Woods, President of Distribution
MGM Studios Inc.
(A privately held company of Sony Pictures Entertainment)
10250 Constellation Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 900067
Phone: (310) 449-3000
Fax: (310) 449-8819
Bale stars as Jim Davis, an ex-soldier who can't escape the trauma from his days as a ruthless killer in the army in Iraq. Jim is trying to get accepted into the Los Angeles Police Department, his dream job. Jim wants to get the job so he can bring his Mexican girlfriend, Marta, into the U.S and Los Angeles. Rodriguez plays Jim's friend, Mike, who's trying to find work after being fired from a white collar job. Mike has a wife, Sylvia, who already has a nice job as a lawyer. Mike helped put her through law school, but now Sylvia is carrying Mike, and she doesn't like it.
Jim takes Mike away from his job-hunting duties. When the LAPD turns Jim down, Jim goes into a rage and takes Mike on a pot-smoking, beer-drinking binge. Mike gets into trouble with his wife, but Homeland Security asks Jim to come in for tests. The Homeland Security people, however, want him to take a violent job busting drug cartels in Columbia, without bringing Marta.
HARSH TIMES is a story about a violent man on the edge. It is also a story about the evils of macho, or hyper-masculine, attitudes that some men like Jim and Mike have. Mike goes along with Jim's crazy macho desires, until Jim's insanity threatens both their lives. As for Jim, each time his friend, Mike, his girlfriend, Marta, or someone else, tries to pull him into a quiet, mature relationship and settled lifestyle, he resists, often violently.
The main point of HARSH TIMES is its moral message against today's macho attitudes among young men in our urban areas. The female characters in the movie serve as a civilizing force. While this message does express the civilizing qualities that women can bring to men's lives, it is a somewhat one-sided portrayal that could be taken to a feminist extreme. HARSH TIMES also contains a lot of very strong foul language and strong violence, but its drug and alcohol content ultimately shows the negative side of substance abuse.
MOVIEGUIDE® does not recommend HARSH TIMES. Although the movie is a morality tale, its unappealing main characters and constant foul language (the most obscenities in a movie so far this year) will turn off most moviegoers. Overall, HARSH TIMES does not provide an enjoyable time at the movies. The moral lessons it provides just aren't as strong or uplifting as they should have been. That's because they lack a spiritual, biblical center focused on God, Jesus Christ or even Moses. Of course, in the end, only a personal relationship with Jesus Christ can save us from our sins.
HARSH TIMES is a morality tale against today's macho attitudes among young men in our urban areas, but its unappealing main characters and constant obscenities will turn off most moviegoers. Overall, HARSH TIMES does not provide an enjoyable enough time. Its moral lessons just aren't as strong or uplifting as they should have been. That's because they lack a spiritual, biblical center focused on God, Jesus Christ or even Moses. Of course, in the end, only a personal relationship with Jesus Christ can save us from our sins.