Watch Survival Skills
- 1 hr 24 min
Survival Skills is a psychological drama film from 2020 directed by Quinn Armstrong. The movie tells the story of Jim (Vayu O'Donnell), a rookie police officer who attends a training session led by the seasoned veteran Lieutenant Richard 'Dick' Williams (Stacy Keach). Throughout the film, the viewer follows Jim as he navigates through the complexities of the law enforcement world, and discovers the dark realities of the profession. The plot of the movie unfolds through a mock training video, which serves as a narration device throughout the story. The viewer is taken on a journey through different scenarios that Jim encounters on the job, including domestic violence, robbery, and other criminal activities. As Jim tries to do his job to the best of his abilities, he is constantly held back by bureaucratic red tape, lack of resources, and his own inexperience. One of the main themes of the film is the idea of police brutality and the misuse of power by law enforcement officials. As Jim struggles to reconcile the idealized version of police work he was taught with the darker reality of the job, he begins to question his own beliefs and values. The movie does not shy away from showing the difficult and sometimes violent situations that police officers face, but it also doesn't shy away from the devastating impact it can have on the communities they serve. Stacy Keach's character, Lieutenant Richard 'Dick' Williams, serves as a mentor figure to Jim. Williams embodies the old-fashioned, hard-line approach to policing, and represents the entrenched ideology that Jim struggles to come to terms with. Keach's performance is captivating, bringing depth and nuance to the character despite the fact that he is largely a caricature of the tough-as-nails cop. The film's other performances are also noteworthy. Vayu O'Donnell delivers a strong portrayal of Jim, a character who is somewhat naive and idealistic at the start of the movie, but who grows increasingly disillusioned with the realities of the job as the film progresses. Spencer Garrett also does a good job in a small but important role as Jim's commanding officer, Captain Mike Goode. One of the most striking aspects of Survival Skills is its visual style. The film is shot in a retro aesthetic, with a color palette and production design that evoke the look and feel of 1980s police procedurals. The sets, costumes, and music all contribute to this nostalgic atmosphere, which is juxtaposed with the film's heavy subject matter. The final result is both visually striking and thematically resonant. Survival Skills is a powerful and thought-provoking film that tackles complex issues such as police brutality, the morality of law enforcement, and the impact of trauma on individuals and communities. With its strong performances, distinctive visual style, and bold approach to its subject matter, it is a movie that is sure to linger in the minds of viewers long after the credits roll.