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Harsh Times (Film4, 11.55pm).

CHRISTIAN Bale stars as Jim Davis, an unstable Gulf War veteran who, after an honourable discharge from the US army, plans to start afresh in Los Angeles with his Mexican girlfriend.

Jim''s life spirals out of control and, sadly, his efforts to stay on the straight and narrow prove futile and it inevitably ends in tragedy. After failing to land a job as a cop in the LAPD, Jim turns to a life of petty crime with a childhood friend.

Before he donned the black suit to play Batman, Christian Bale had proven to be quite the actor and he puts in a wonderfully intense performance in this gritty crime drama.

David Ayer, making his directorial debut after garnering critical acclaim for his Training Day screenplay, expertly tells a story about true friendship, loyalty and ambition. However, make no mistake; this is anything but a happily-ever-after tale as the film darkens considerably as Jim reaches breaking-point.

Ayer also wrote the film''s screenplay basing on his experiences while growing up on the tough streets of south central Los Angeles.
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 22, 2012
Words:178
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