Saturday, May 03, 2008

Harsh Times = Bad Time

I really, really wanted to like "Harsh Times." David Ayer directed it. Ayer also wrote it. Okay, you ask, "so who is David Ayer?" He's the talented writer of such films as "Training Day," "Dark Blue," and "The Fast and the Furious" among others. Ayer also directed "Street Kings" which I really enjoyed. So even though "Harsh Times" starred Christian Bale, Freddy Rodriguez, Eva Longoria and Terry Crews [in a small role], it was Ayer who was the major selling point for me.

The Pitch: "Training Day" meets "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" without the comedy and where Ferris is an over-the-edge ex-marine.

The Good: The scene when Bale & Rodriguez attempt to sell a handgun in a Tex-Mex bar. The tension throughout the movie -- who's going to die?

The Bad: There's a lack of redeeming characters. The movie is dark, dark, dark.

The Ugly: How disappointed I am, that I didn't like the movie more.

The Summary: "Harsh Times" was too bleak for me. Good director, good cast, but without characters that I could really get behind.


lotofsly said...

Haven't seen it yet. The fact that Eva Longoria is in it stopped me when I wanted to rent it at the videoclub.

Anonymous said...

For some reason, that movie reminded me of Vin Diesel's A Man Apart, which was another one I really wanted to enjoy, but just couldnt.
You're right, movies suffer without a strong, redeeming protagonist.

Saynt Jaymz

Anonymous said...

I agree with everything you said Craig. Great talent but it all went wrong!


Craig Zablo said...

Yeah, "A Man Apart" missed the boat as well.

Craig Zablo said...

Thanks for the comment Mark!

Anonymous said...

I saw this last year...although not a great movie and probably a little too similiar to Training Day. It was alright. I thought Bale was really good in the role.

The movie really loses it's momentum once they go down to Mexico...some nice scenes etc...but it didn't seem to fit in with the rest of the movie IMO. But I guess you do see a different side of Bale's character (if only for a short time).

I didn't mind the fact that it was a little too bleak and darker/grittier. Luckily Eva is not in it a lot, she's a pretty typical nagging, on the brink of leaving girlfriend/wife which we've seen many times before. I don't like her so I'm glad her role was small.

As for the comparisons to Man Apart (which I did see but barely remember)...I don't see it? However I thought Man Apart was one of the worst films I'd ever seen. Harsh Times is much better.


Craig Zablo said...

The comparison to "Man Apart" was that one would have thought that they both should have been much better films.

Thanks for your thoughtful post.