PROJECT POWER (2020) – My rating: 7/10

Project Power is a superhero film directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, produced by Eric Newman and Bryan Unkeless, and written by Mattson Tomlin. The film follows a drug dealer, a police officer, and a former soldier who team up to stop the distribution of a pill that gives the taker superpowers for five minutes. An intriguing prospect that I found quite entertaining. I enjoyed Project Power and thought the movie was well done.

 

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 **** SPOILERS BELOW ****

Project Power takes place in a slightly futuristic New Orleans, as a mysterious distributor offers a free supply of “Power” (a pill that grants an assortment of superpowers for five minutes), to a group of drug dealers, including one named Newt (Colson Baker) who possesses the ability of thermal regulation that allows him to generate fire from his body.  Six weeks later, Newt’s teenage cousin Robin Reilly (Dominique Fishback), a dealer herself, is nearly robbed by customers seeking the pill called Power. She is rescued by NOPD Detective Frank Shaver (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), one of her regular buyers who receives Power that hardens his skin, effectively making him bulletproof.  Art (Jamie Foxx), is a Major in Delta Force and an original test subject for the drug, Power. He possesses the ability to launch powerful heatwaves from his body, with repercussions.  During Art’s search for the distributor “Biggie” (Rodrigo Santoro), who possesses the ability to rapidly increase in size and strength, tracks down Newt, who dies after a struggle when he overdoses on Power. Frank foils a bank robbery by a Power-enhanced thief but is suspended for using Power himself. His captain, Crane (Courtney B. Vance) reveals that government personnel are pressuring him to terminate any investigation into Power, and gives Frank a picture of the man they suspect to be the source of the drug, which turns out to be Art.

This movie sort of plays on the movie and later TV series called Limitless, which featured a pill that allows you to use 100% of your brain for twelve hours.  I enjoyed Project Power because it dealt with the drug scene and gave us a personal perspective of a lifestyle we barely know.  A group of losers who also were drug abusers was depicted as entrepreneurs who lived by getting high.  Also included in the group is a cop and a young teenage girl who didn’t take drugs but displayed some super survival powers of her own. I loved her savvy outlook on life and family. I also understood Frank’s need to use Power and the effect it had on him, which enabled the arrest of bad guys and assistance to Robin.  Jamie Foxx’s portrayal of Art, a father trying to recover his kidnapped daughter Tracy (Kyanna Simone Simpson) who possesses the ability to heal organic matter, was absolutely brilliant. Project Power generates some very positive messages and is quite entertaining.  The movie received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the performances of the cast, action sequences, and visuals but criticized the screenplay for not taking full advantage of its premise. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, Project Power holds an approval rating of 60% based on 169 reviews, and IMDB has also rated the film 6.0.  I think it’s a tad better than that — Project Power streams on Netflix, Check It Out!

 

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