David Ayer resumes his self-appointed role as police watchdog, this time as director in addition to screenwriter (Training Day, Dark Blue). The man he has his eye on, a very disturbed veteran of the action in Afghanistan, is not already a policeman but soon hopes to be. When, however, he receives his letter of rejection from the LAPD, he shows his commitment to law and order by tossing at a neighboring motorist the beer bottle from which he had been guzzling while driving. His motivation, to be sure, had never been to enforce laws but only to gain greater license to violate them for personal profit. And although the LAPD screeners have red-flagged him, the Department of Homeland Security, impressed by his fluency in español, might yet wave him through. Christian Bale's español is indeed impressive; and the contradictions in the character, if often uncontrollably comical, are no barrier to belief. The extravagances of Bale's go-for-broke performance (Denzel Washington got an Oscar for Training Day, didn't he?) are another matter. Sky-high. With Freddy Rodriguez, Eva Longoria, J.K. Simmons. (2006) — Duncan Shepherd
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