Christian Bale seems to be going out of his way to do as many uniquely different roles as he can all at once. From magician to superhero to emancipated man, Bale has continually committed himself completely to each role he plays. It makes sense that he would play a lead role with many similarities to Denzel Washington’s award winning role in Training Day.
Christian Bale (The Prestige, Batman Begins) is Jim, a hot-headed ex-soldier trying to get a job with the Los Angeles Police Department. When he is denied he begins to slowly drag his friend (Freddy Rodriguez) into a life of petty crime. They start slowly, promising to look for a real job the following day, but the harsh realities of life drive them back to the streets as if that is where they belong.
Harsh Times isn’t exactly a realistic film, but the situations are carefully executed in a very real atmosphere, making it a sort of movie-reality. Los Angeles may be captured very well, but this doesn’t mean that every sequence could plausibly take place. Even when Jim isn’t the one causing the mayhem everywhere they go there happens to be random acts of violence near them. The city is quite literally seen as a jungle, and the people living in it as unpredictable wild animals. The same could be said about Training Day, in which Denzel Washington was the king of the jungle, but Harsh Times makes the street violence seem petty compared to the war violence which has drastically changed how Jim exists in the world. Arguing that the war is wrong because of how it changes the lower class citizens involved in the fighting for the worse, which will only pollute the streets with more violence, seems a backwards sort of argument that only works in the movies. – Real Movie News