Movie Review: Project Power Teases You with 5 Mins of Superpower but Disappoints with a Boring Supervillan
You can finally stop wishing to the red guy at the north-pole for superpowers. There is a new drug that could make you a Superhero, but only for 5 minutes. The question is will you try it?
In its latest movie, ‘Project Power‘, Netflix teases with a mysterious drug that can grant anyone 5 minutes of superpower. The added twist is that you don’t know what kind of power you will get until you take it the first time.
Depending on your animal genes you might burst into flames that don’t hurt you but burns everything else. You might become invincible or you might just explode.
Set in a futuristic New Orleans, the movie features the release of the mysterious power pill into a city cleaning up after Hurricane Katrin. The release triggers total chaos as news channels are filled with reports of people doing impossible things like outracing cop cars.
The Netflix movie takes us through the collisions of three main characters involved with the drug. Robin (Dominique Fishback), a street dealer who is pushing the mysterious power pills for her cousin. She ends up selling the pills to an NOPD officer named Frank (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who is taking the pills to stop criminals using the power to tear apart the city.
In arguably one of the best action scene, Frank chases an invisible bank robber through the crowded streets as his target blends into everything around him.
In another twist, Robin crosses paths with Art (Jamie Foxx), a crusading former military man with a personal vendetta to find the source of the pill. After the explosive death of a dealer, Art ends up essentially partnering with Robin to track Biggie (Rodrigo Santoro) one of the villainous drug suppliers.
At 1hr 53 mins, Project Power is a flashy and action-packed movie that captures Jamie Foxx’s murderous rampage through the city’s underbelly, in an effort to locate his missing daughter.
The movie was directed by Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost who are behind the original Catfish documentary and two Paranormal Activity sequels. The directors made good use of their signature digital aesthetic entertaining us with great visuals but the movie had a lot of unleased potential in terms of both actual storytelling and subtext.
In the movie, the trio stumbles upon a larger conspiracy by a shadowy organisation led by a cabal which Biggie works for. The Cabal intends to usurp the world by mass-producing the power pill.
The final act finds the trio joining forces to rescue Art’s daughter from the cabal filled with boring supervillains. Frank displays his impregnable skin as he is shot several times and Art displays the power of the pill as the fighting scenes shows the glowing, yellow, twist-to-activate capsule, the graphical frazzle of his synapses frazzling in an explosion.
While the action sequences themselves aren’t particularly spectacular, they’re slickly delivered and manage to look interesting, even when it isn’t.
Another major highlight of the movie is Art’s daughter’s unique healing power and the inherent fact that she doesn’t need pills to get it. This affirms the backstory of why she was kidnapped in the first place.
Apart from the action, Dominique Fishback in her break out role as Robin makes for an entertaining and empathetic heroine, as she holds her own wits even while trapped in a dangerous circumstance.
That said, the powers displayed, apart from Art’s, is already familiar to the superhero universe. While this isn’t a problem, the half-hearted exploration of the idea of power itself, who wields it and how they attain it shows a lack of invention in a movie that could have been more. This especially shows in the abrupt end of scenes just when they were threatening to become something more engaging and interesting.
Despite the generic nature of the movie, it nonetheless ranks No 1 in Netflix Top 10 most streamed in Nigeria. This is probably fueled by Foxx’s natural charisma, attention-grabbing performance from Dominique Fishback, and an intriguing twist on superpowers.
While Project Power won’t be my top pick for a movie, the character interaction and fighting scenes will get your adrenalin running if you are bored. So if you are home and bored this weekend you can check it out.
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