Project Power Review – Netflix Brings Super Powers to the Streets

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Project Power Review -Netflix brings superpowers to the streets of New Orleans in this action-packed rescue operation

Put Jamie Foxx or Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a movie and a lot of people will want to watch it. Team them up, and you got the makings of a hit. That’s what Netflix did with Project Power. On the streets of New Orleans, a new drug is being given to dealers for free. This new drug aptly called “Power,” grants the user 5 minutes of superpowers. This power varies per person. Robin (Dominique Fishback),  a struggling student with some truly impressive rap skills, deals Power to help her mother make ends meet and to provide for herself what the system doesn’t. Frank (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a detective who will do whatever it takes to protect his city and rid it of this new drug, buys Power from Robin and gathers information from her, while also looking out for her and helping her out where he can. Lastly, there’s Art (Jamie Foxx), a man from out of town working his way through drug dealers to find the supplier. His journey eventually crosses paths with Robin and Art has no problems going through a teenager to accomplish his goal.

Project Power is a very grounded approach to superpowers. It does have the frills of visually captivating powers and action sequences, but never feels world ending-in scale. It’s a nice change of pace to the apocalyptic scale most superpowered properties take and it helps build the dramatic tension by making it feel a lot more personal. The fights are generally one on one, which builds the stakes really high. You get the chance to really root for someone in the fight and every blow feels like it has consequences. The personability of this movie is definitely its most resonating aspect. It is direct, to the point, and is executed very well.

Performance-wise, I have to say this is Fishback’s movie. Fisback’s Robin is a gifted lyricist who is just trying to make things work despite so much in her environment being against her. She steals the show most of the time with her poignant observations, infallible logic, or a quip. Foxx’s Art is a man on a mission. He’s a highly trained soldier who has no problems taking on people with powers. Foxx’s fight scenes were very well choreographed and shot, really showcasing Art’s combat senses and abilities. Gordon-Levitt’s Frank was an incredibly likeable character. A chaotic good cop, he has no qualms fighting Power with Power and skirting the system to do what’s best for New Orleans. His Clint Eastwood-like performance to intimidate people is pretty impressive and also very funny.

Project Power is a fun and exciting movie. However, despite being well-executed and well-performed my Project Power review isn’t very high. The story itself is a bit cliche and does not leave a resounding impact. When it comes down to it, Art is on a mission that crosses paths with Robin and Frank. They all have their own destinations but are all headed in the same direction. It wraps up neatly and doesn’t leave many unanswered questions. I can see the franchise potential, however, the story is a very good self-contained adventure that doesn’t beckon for more. The relationships between the characters also doesn’t create the want for more. Not that there isn’t chemistry among the performers, there’s just not quite enough to want to see it again. I feel the movie was focused on, and succeeded in, telling the story without delving deep into the characters, societal issues that allow the events of the film to happen, or any unique facets the film’s world creates. Which is what makes the film enjoyable, but doesn’t allow it to stand out. At the end of the day, it’s a cop movie with powers.

Overall, Project Power is a fun and exciting movie with a great cast. The superpowers are beautifully rendered and performed, the fight scenes are engaging, and the story is direct and to the point. Despite solid performances all around, the film doesn’t expand on the chemistry of the cast and the innate likability of the characters. You’re given enough to like them, but not enough to want more. While I’m sure many will like the film, I don’t see it being recognized in the upper tiers of Netflix’s action films or a demand for a franchise. Which is to say, it is good but not quite great. So while I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, the fading impact is why my Project Power review only gets a 2.5/5

Project Power releases on Netflix on August 14, 2020.

 

Project Power
2.5

TLDR

Overall, Project Power is a fun and exciting movie with a great cast. The superpowers are beautifully rendered and performed, the fight scenes are engaging, and the story is direct and to the point. Despite solid performances all around, the film doesn’t expand on the chemistry of the cast and the innate likability of the characters. You’re given enough to like them, but not enough to want more. While I’m sure many will like the film, I don’t see it being recognized in the upper tiers of Netflix’s action films or a demand for a franchise. Which is to say, it is good but not quite great. So while I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, the fading impact leads me to give the movie a score lower than I’d like.

 

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