Netflix’s latest offering, Project Power, is proof that a movie can overcome a lack of substance so long as it has plenty of style.
The central premise of the film is that a pill is created which can give users a unique power when injested, but only for five minutes at a time.
What the power is depends entirely on the person.
Some people can turn invisible, some can become bullet-proof, and others simply explode.
There are three main characters which the plot revolves around: Alex (Jamie Foxx), a former soldier desperately searching for his missing daughter; Frank (Joseph Gordan-Levitt), a local cop trying to find the source of the pills, and; Robin (Dominique Fishback), a high school student who sells the pill on the streets to pay for her mother’s medication.
While the film does adopt a more gritty aesthetic than your more traditional superhero movie, any hope for a more serious film goes up in (literal) smoke when rapper Machine Gun Kelly arrives, sets himself on fire and has a fist-fight with Foxx before blowing up.
That pretty much sets up the tone for the rest of the movie. There are some dark moments – there’s a scene about midway through where a demonstration of the pill’s effects goes horribly wrong, which I think is done brilliantly.
But for the most part, it’s a goofy over-the-top action movie with some cool special effects thrown in.
What puts this film a few steps above average is definitely the acting.
The entire cast give it their all and deliver some truly stunning performances.
Foxx and Gordan-Levitt are reliably good actors and are strong here, but Fishback definitely steals the show and is always the best part of any scene she’s in.
Project Power might be just a little too dark for some people but as a “mature” take on the superhero genre, it is certainly a solid entry.