Harsh Times - quick review

Patrick Sun

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Jun 30, 1999
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While I had fun watching Christian Bale and Freddy Rodriguez chew up the scenery in this film with an aimlessly thin plotline, after seeing Bale's name as an exec producer, I have to chalk this film up as a vanity acting project for him because he truly has a blast hamming it up on the screen.

The first 2/3 of the film is unabashedly a testosterone-unleashed slacker buddy-buddy flick, and then it gets much darker and chaotic for the characters.

It's worth a matinee if you like either of the 2 main actors, just go along for the ride and don't ascribe too much common sense to either of them.

I give it 2.5 stars, or a grade of C+.
 

Elizabeth S

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May 9, 2001
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Elizabeth S
I hadn't heard much about the film at all, so I had very low expectations. I'm a Bale fan, though, and think he usually picks interesting projects.

I liked the film a lot. YES, Bale is way over the top, but as the story settled in, I accepted that he's one of those guys who acts that way -- exaggerated bravura and joviality to hide how messed up he really is. Unhinged Bale is pretty scary. It was a little unbelievable that he and the Freddy Rodriguez character would actually be friends -- even more so that Eva's character would be with an unmotivated guy like Freddy. Still, I got involved with the situation the characters found themselves in.

I did notice what appeared to be several people walking out at 2 separate parts of the film -- I'm guessing it was a little too unpleasantly brutal for them.
 

Inspector Hammer!

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Mar 15, 1999
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John Williamson
Just watched this today on Showtime HD and I must say that seldom have I seen a film filled with such unlikable and pathetic characters.

I love Bale but i'm not sure he pulled off the gang-banger/street trash talkin' hood he was trying so desperately to do here, he mostly came off lame, scary and volitile (I wanted very bad things to happen to him after he threatened to kill his pregnant girlfriend), but lame.

Overall it was an ugly and arduous excercise in violence and hatred that I won't be reliving again anytime soon.
 

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