Project Power is a Netflix film directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman. This action-adventure stars Jamie Foxx, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Dominique Fishback, and Kyanna Simpson. Project Power is about an ex-soldier, Art also known as The Major (Foxx), looking for his kidnapped daughter in the city of New Orleans. At the same time, a new drug is on the street known as Power. You twist the capsule and swallow the pill. The effects of the pill give the user a certain ability for a duration of five minutes.
For first time users the effect is unknown, those addicted to the drug, or use it on a once in a blue moon basis, know what their power will be on consumption. An earnest detective named Frank (Gordon-Levitt) is trying to get the drug of the street with the aid of his teenager, Robin (Fishback), informant, and looking for the source. Soon enough, all three of these character’s lives collide in a big way. This film’s story/narrative is a slow burn, not showing you all its tricks but allows you to see the power pills long enough to hook you in, making you want to see how everything plays out. A new drug on the street, spreading like wildfire, with authorities not knowing how to handle it. Power is the source of world-building. It lets you see what kind of world New Orleans has become.
We’re introduced to Robin, a teenager who deals Power for money in order to help her and her mother survive. She also works for Detective Frank as an informant. The chemistry between Gordon-Levitt and Fishback’s character is great and believable. You can piece together that these characters have known each other for a while and are really good friends despite the age difference. In the beginning, there are individuals looking to score some Power and the deal goes sideways. Robin is attacked and outnumbered. Detective Frank swoops in, gun drawn, fast-talking, and saves the day. Frank pretends to arrest Robin and lets those that attacked her go. When the coast is clear, he lectures her on being careful and gives her the dirt bike he rode in on as a late birthday present. Not only does it seems like Frank and Robin are close friends, but Frank also seems to be like a loose parental figure or guardian angel to Robin.
While Robin is stereotypical – a drug dealer who knows how to rap and uses those skills to get out the hood – she is multidimensional, and I related to her. Although young and not having a lot going for herself, she uses her street smarts to navigate through her life. There’s a part when she’s in class, texting and she’s caught by her teacher. For a moment, she daydreams of telling her teacher off, doling out the same disrespect that was dished out on her by using her large vocabulary but decides to walk away. Despite always looking out for herself in the hood, as the movie goes on, Robin rises above herself and wants to be able to help someone in need. Specifically when Art gets pretty banged up in a fight and it’s revealed that Robin is pretty good with stitching up wounds and administering proper medication.
On the other hand, Art is one dimensional and a character we’ve seen in plenty of other movies. Art is a highly skilled parent looking for their kidnapped daughter and will do so by any means necessary. However, the saving grace of this character is that Foxx is playing him. His action sequences are pretty awesome when things start to kick off. There’s a fight scene in a secret night club that I believe rivals that off Netflix’s Daredevil hallway scene. However, even though you only see flashes of the fight happening but you definitely see Foxx’s character do some damage. Foxx breathes his swagger and attitude into The Major, making him a feared character when other characters hear the name or lay eyes on him.
It’s the final act of the film that shines when our three main characters put their skillsets to use to carry out their shared mission. The final act gets to the point. Action sequences are over the top and pleasing to the eye and the villain’s monologue isn’t drawn out. Viewers have also seen this kind of villain before and have heard the reasoning as well but oddly enough it works. With a decent story, charismatic characters, and good action, Project Power makes for a decent summer blockbuster.
Project Power is available for streaming on Netflix.
With a decent story, charismatic characters, and good action, Project Power makes for a decent summer blockbuster.