Harsh Times certainly lives up to its title, ratcheting up the tension until the inevitable ignition of testosterone and pentup rage.
The tone is relentlessly grim, spattered with scenes of explosive violence and the film never judges the characters for their morally dubious choices.
Gulf War veteran Jim Davis (Christian Bale) is haunted by nightmarish memories of the conflict – he can still feel the desert on his skin – and is struggling to reintegrate into society. His one lifeline to a brighter future is an application to join the Los Angeles Police Department.
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