Any actor looking to go berserk on screen should track down filmmaker David Ayer. In the Ayer-scripted Training Day, Denzel Washington ranted and raved as a bad cop all the way to an Oscar. Now Ayer has directed Harsh Times, in which Christian Bale blows his top as an ex-Army Ranger who turns into an indiscriminate killer at the flip of a switch. Bale has the right touch of madness for this sort of exercise – that’s why he makes for a good Batman – but Harsh Times is too jerry-rigged to register as much more than a ticking time bomb. Ayer pumps up the tension with such exhausting obviousness that when Bale finally goes off, it feels less like a tragedy than a relief.