Project Power (2020): Standard Drama With a Great Idea

Project Power - Wikipedia

     “Project Power” gives us a great idea and a solid cast but falls apart from the premise not being fully realized and one of the overused villain tropes that is executed horribly. If you are looking for a quick fun forgettable watch it is worth checking out on Netflix though. Enough is positive that I did find the film fun.

The film was directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman and written by Mattson Tomlin.

The story follows Art Reilly / The Major (Jamie Foxx) as he hunts for his kidnapped daughter. At the same time Robin (Dominique Fishback) is a dealer of Power (a drug that gives an unknown superpower for 5 minutes) on the streets of New Orleans who finds herself pulled into the bigger conspiracy. At the same time one of Robin’s cop clients Frank (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is tracking the Major.

SPOILERS ahead

The Pros:

The Premise – The premise of a temporary super power drug that is on a time limit is great for upping the stakes. The film sets down the stakes really early on too as you see destruction happening all over the city before the 6 year time jump when we are first introduced to the drug. Sadly the premise is never fully realized. It stays surface, which is still entertaining but it could have been more.

The Action – The action is really what carries this film and keeps it from being bad. We have a lot of tight action scenes with a character going super and because of it those without powers have to use strategy and tactics to defeat the temporary supers. This action stays brutal and flows through the entire film.

The Main Trio – I liked the main characters. Jamie Foxx’s Major is an anti-hero and you get his desperation as he tries to find his kidnapped daughter. His relationship with Robin as an adopted daughter is great too as she also is selling Power to help her mother who has diabetes and will need surgery. Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character is the most simple, he’s a cop who takes the drug to fight other supers and is a bit of a rogue element. In the end his empathy comes through as he listens to Major and he clearly sees Robin as family too. The dynamic that develops between these three is really what carries the film.

The Cons:

The Villain -The villain is an evil corporation again. Dr. Gardner developed Project Power and is selling it to gangs and cartels. There is talk about her trying to bring about the next evolution of humanity but it is only in the text. We never see her show that she cares about anything beyond money and power and the same function applies to her minions. Evil drug corporations are such an easy out at this point and like “The Old Guard” they handled completely bad here. I hope Netflix can give us a good original film with a compelling villain, cause so far I’m not impressed.

This was an enjoyable rental that could have been more. The trio is great and if they showed up in Netflix show in this universe or as a sequel, I’d probably watch it. The cast and the concept are really what carry this film and keep it from being bad. If you like the concept or any of the cast I would recommend you check it out.

Final Score: 7.8 / 10

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