Harsh Times is a film by the writer of Training Day, in which the main protagonist, played by Christian Bale, is an ex-Army Ranger who returns home to South Central L.A. with a severe case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Jim Davis (Bale) returns home to South L.A. after his latest tour of duty with the Army Rangers. He visits with his best friend Mike (Rodriguez), who is having relationship problems caused by his recent unemployment. They decide to get wasted together, which means drinking, drugs and whatever else comes their way. A series of misadventures ensues, in which a horrific scene takes place where Jim tries to cheat the urine test for the L.A.P.D by forcing a tube up......well, it needs to be seen to be believed.
Jim's behaviour becomes more and more erratic, and it becomes clear that he is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. They get caught lying to Mike's girlfriend, who kicks him out, and Jim doesn't get the job he wanted because of his psychological profile, so they take a trip to Mexico to see Jim's girlfriend. She reveals that she is pregnant and Jim's PTSD intensifies, causing him to threaten her life. Jim's behaviour becomes more and more self-destructive and he smuggles drugs back into the States. When Mike finds out he is furious but, upon seeing the depths of despair his friend has sunk to, accompanies him to a drug deal where things go bad. Jim is badly wounded and begs Mike to kill him. Mike 'steps up' and kills his friend in an act of mercy and pity, and the movie ends with a guilt-ridden Mike running home to his girlfriend.