Pros: Interesting basic idea; good cast; several bright action scenes Cons: The potential of the idea is not fully realized; In the end, the plot comes down to a rather banal and rather worn-out story of Project Power / “Project “Power””
Genre fantasy action
Directed by Henry Joost, Eriel Shulman
Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Frank), Jamie Foxx (Art), Dominique Fishback (Robin), Machine Gun Kelly (Newt), Rodrigo Santoro (Biggie), Kianna Simone Simpson (Tracy), Adriana Ward-Hammond (Irene) and etc.
Studios Screen Arcade, Netflix
Year of release 2020
Project Power begins with the emergence of a high-tech drug called “Power” on the illegal market in New Orleans. It turns out very quickly that this is not a drug at all, although it is very easy to get hooked on what “Power” does to people. “Power” gives a person superpowers for five minutes, but for the first time you don’t know what kind of ability it will be. Regeneration, invisibility, super strength, bulletproof skin, the ability to control your own body temperature, super flexibility, etc. But not all forces are useful; many of them can even injure or kill the recipient. However, “Power” becomes popular, primarily among criminal elements, allowing them to commit crimes that the police have not yet seen.
Project Power is the story of three people, one way or another connected with “Power”. Frank (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a New Orleans police officer who uses the Force to confront new, “pumped up” gangsters. Robin (Dominique Fishback) is a high school student and small-time drug dealer who sells Power to raise money for her mother’s treatment. Art’s (Jamie Foxx) connection with the “Power” is more personal; for some reason, he must find the source of the “drug” and destroy it.
The main feature of Project Power is the very five minutes of superpowers that “Power” gives. And they played well overall. Actually, these scenes are why the film is worth watching. Particularly good are Art’s first appearance in Newt’s apartment, the bank robbery that Frank confronts, and the scene of the presentation of “Power” in an underground bar. No, the action episodes are not up to the level of Extraction or John Wick, but overall they look good. A couple of times the authors even managed to surprise us by putting, instead of a drawn-out hand-to-hand scene that was quite expected in the script, an unexpected short combo that ends the battle before it even begins.
As for the plot as a whole, it is quite predictable. It is clear that the main characters, initially distrustful of each other, will eventually find common ground. It is clear that they will all eventually achieve their goals. And the analogy with the lost/found father is generally too obvious, as the heroes of this story themselves repeatedly notice.
However, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jamie Foxx and Dominique Fishback make up a completely organic trio, the jokes in the film are quite appropriate and sometimes even funny, the New Orleans flavor is felt even without any Mardi Gras and voodoo fetishes. Among the cast outside of the three main performers, who acted generally well, I would like to mention Andriana Ward-Hammond, who plays Robin’s mother. Although she has a tiny, but very colorful role.
As for the visual effects, apart from the overly artificial final scene on the ship, everything was done very well. Which is not surprising, given the film’s considerable budget of $85 million.
As we noted at the very beginning, Project Power fits perfectly into the line of big-budget action films from Netflix. It won’t get rave reviews from the press or audience, but it will most likely make it into the next Top 10 of original films made specifically for this streaming service. This means a continuation is possible. Moreover, there is a good basis for it – although the heroes destroyed many villains, the reserve of “Strength” itself remained intact. And the main idea of the film, associated with five minutes of superpowers, can be developed almost endlessly.
Despite the fact that the main idea of the film is not properly revealed, Project Power looks quite good