‘2nd Chance’ Review: The Crazy Tale of a Body Armor Guru

Directed by Ramin Bahrani, 2nd Chance documents the rise and fall of Richard Davis, the man responsible for modernizing body armor. The aforementioned Davis is widely known for shooting himself 192 times and inventing the modern-day bulletproof vest.

With a great blend of archival footage and firsthand accounts, 2nd Chance takes viewers down a rocky road of major accomplishments and head-scratching decision-making.

It says a lot about a person who can’t hold themselves accountable and Davis is one of those people. With each high, he could explain how he got there in great detail. For every low, the story was muddy, other people were involved, and someone else was to blame for the failure.

Through his nervous chatter and unprovoked laughter, Davis details a wild past that featured lots of money, two ex-wives, and a barrage of lawsuits that would eventually be his undoing. Richard believed that for millions of years, man has been part of a never-ending arms race with weapons evolving as quickly as people. For his part, however, he would provide protection from weapons instead of supplying them (even though he was a lover of firearms).

A still from 2ND CHANCE. Photo credit: Courtesy of SHOWTIME.

During the film, director Ramin Bahrani directly questions Davis about countless discrepancies in his recollection of past events. He skirts accountability with every response, turning the tides in his favor as the “true” victim. If you can stomach an hour and a half of recklessness then you should enjoy this movie thoroughly. For all of the missteps and crazy that took place, he did economically support a small town and provided body armor for countless police and military worldwide.

2nd Chance gets an 8 out of 10. It’s an intriguing mix of greed and selflessness and should definitely be on your list of docs to check out this month.

2nd Chance is in theaters today in New York and Los Angeles, in theaters nationwide on December 9th, and on the SHOWTIME Network Spring 2023.

-Jon Jones

Photos: Courtesy of Showtime

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