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‘Project Power’ Puts a Thrilling Spin on the Notion of Superhuman Abilities – Review

A new drug has been unleashed on the streets of New Orleans, and it is not your ordinary drug. When a person takes this pill, they gain powers beyond their imagination, but there’s a catch–the capsule only works for five minutes at a time. In addition to the time restraint, a person doesn’t know what powers they will obtain, which can be a danger not only to themselves but to those around them. 

When we first meet Robin (Dominique Fishback), she is dealing the drug. Although she knows it can be dangerous, that is not her concern. With a sick mother at home, Robin is doing what she must to provide for her and for her future. It also doesn’t hurt that she is supplying a local cop, Frank (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), with pills of his own. Frank knows it’s illegal, however, he is also aware that the local police department cannot effectively combat those with superhuman abilities. They are at a disadvantage, and while he tries to tell this to his superiors, he has no luck of convincing them. This doesn’t deter Frank from doing what he must to save his city.

Jamie Foxx in Project Power
Jamie Foxx as Major in Project Power (Courtesy of Netflix)

What the pair do not bank on is getting entangled with Major (Jamie Foxx), an ex-soldier who’s on a mission of his own to take down the suppliers and everyone involved with the trade of the drug. As soon as Foxx steps onto the scene as Major you instantly recognize that he’s a force to be reckoned with. Once the trio have set their sights on bringing down the drug supply and to fight those in power, Project Power truly takes flight.

Written by Mattson Tomlin and directed by Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost, Project Power is a fun ride. From the very moment the film begins, it captures your attention. Of course, there’s no shortage of films that showcase those with superhuman abilities, but Project Power approaches it differently. While the theme of “with great power comes with great responsibility” is one that is clear throughout many films within this subgenre, Project Power does an excellent job of giving its audience a different perspective rather than the one we’ve grown accustomed to. In many movies that deal with this kind of subject matter, the abilities of the protagonist are usually ones that they don’t have control over. Either they were born with them, an accident happened that changed them, but in Project Power, the users of the drug make that choice for themselves, and it’s a gamble they are willing to take.

Dominique Fishback as Robyn and Chika as Akeela in Project Power
Dominique Fishback as Robin and Chika as Akeela in Project Power (Courtesy of Netflix)

The film places the idea of power into a specific context, and while it is something that many might want, it’s also something that can be dangerous. We see this clearly highlighted in Foxx and Gordon-Levitt’s characters. Both know that they cannot combat the most influential people and those creating the drug without any backup. So, they resort to taking the pill when they have to keep themselves and others safe. Both actors are pitch-perfect in their respective roles and elevate every scene they were in, whether they are sharing a scene with each other or they with Fishback. Fishback is equally as great portraying the street-smart, Robin, she is able to show Robin’s life and its ups and downs with ease. She creates a character that you are always rooting for throughout the film. Together, the trio takes on threats with badassery, and it’s a joy to watch.

With enjoyable characters, the backdrop of New Orleans and the ever-present question of what is power and who should wield it lingering through the film’s entirety, Project Power is a bold new take on superhuman abilities and how power can corrupt With an intriguing storyline and great visuals to go along with it, Project Power is definitely the movie you should check out on Netflix this weekend.

Project Power premieres on Netflix on August 14.

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