‘Project Power’ offers a fresh superhero story

‘Project Power’ takes Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Dominique Fishback, and Jamie Foxx on a journey into the underbelly of New Orleans as they pursue a drug that grants users unusual powers. // Photo courtesy of Netflix

Our Take: 3 Stars

The new Netflix original movie “Project Power” follows the adventure of a police officer, a drug dealer and a former soldier as they team up to take down the group responsible for the creation of a pill known as Power that grants the user superpowers.

The movie remained in the #1 spot on Netflix’s Daily Top Ten list for movies for thirteen days straight, making it only the second film to maintain the position for more than ten days.

The film highlights themes of familial relationships, duty and the impact of drug trafficking on communities; true to its name, “Project Power” is empowering its viewers, especially in these times of hardship.

“Project Power” is a mixture of genres, an action-packed thriller that combines sci-fi and crime into a familiar superhero movie. The film captures the essence of the action genre with its exhilarating cinematography and classic superhero tropes.

In an interesting twist to the conventional superhero origin story, this movie features superpowers that are obtained by the help of a single pill that grants the user an animal-derived ability for exactly five minutes.

The movie takes place in New Orleans, where a mysterious distributor has offered a group of drug dealers a free supply of the pill to sell on the streets.
This drug becomes the driving force of the movie, as it is pursued by New Orleans Police Department officer Frank Shaver (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, “Inception”), pushed on the streets by Robin (Dominique Fishback, “The Deuce”) and a is source of personal tragedy for Art (Jamie Foxx, “Django Unchained”). ­

Initially, as the drug causes a rise in crime across New Orleans, Frank willingly t­a­kes­­­ Power in order to stop criminals from using it to wreak havoc.

His dealer, Robin, becomes entangled in the distribution of the pill in order to pay for her mother’s medical needs.

Art is introduced as a desperate father in search of his daughter, who has been taken by the mysterious group behind the creation of the drug.

As each of them work their way down the drug chain, they become united by their common goal: to end Project Power once and for all.

The trials each character faces individually parallel their personal motives, but do not necessarily align with the plot.

Robin’s dream to become a rapper is brought up only to be pushed aside by the looming threat of Power, and the many questions that the pill brings up about social and ethical issues and the effects of the drug on the community are ignored in favor of typical action movie drama.

The unique premise of the story is largely diluted by the superhero archetypes and standard action movie tropes that bloat the film.

However, the film is reinvigorated by its cinematography, which transports viewers into a world ­of fast-paced action scenes that are as gripping as they are realistic.

The actors further add to the dramatic thrill that makes the movie so absorbing to watch by fully assuming their roles as the “superheroes” of the story.

Overall, the movie struggles to maintain a strong storyline, but makes up for its flaws by the strength of its action scenes and the actors themselves.

“Project Power” has proven to be popular amongst Netflix viewers because its story provides a new take on the typical superhero origin story. While the movie fails to commit to its unique premise, it is the perfect movie for anyone looking to escape into a world of action and drama.