Review: Netflix’s Project Power Is A Summer Blockbuster Without The Pressure Or Expectations
It’s been a weird summer with the pandemic canceling everything. Without any releases in theatres and another delay for Tenet, the theatrical experience may be a little while off. But streamers came to the rescue with some pretty good summer blockbusters that don’t have the pressure earn giant box office returns. Jamie Foxx and Joseph Gordon-Levitt team up for exactly such a movie, which is superhero-adjacent as well. So check out our Netflix’s Project Power review, which will contain some light spoilers. But don’t worry, I’ll warn you beforehand.
Netflix’s Project Power Review Is Fun, Breezy, And Engaging Watch
Image via Netflix.
Project Power is all about a special pill that gives you superpowers, but for only 5 minutes. The user can get a cool and awesome power, or one that may end up killing them. The ultimate downside is that they may just blow up or die altogether. So it’s a pretty huge gamble, but the temptation is too great for many. You also won’t know what your power is until you take the pill for the first time. So it’s a pretty mixed bag. As expected, the premise of a highly sought after pill has the usual negative impact on society. Criminals want to sell it, others want to weaponize it, the police are trying to stop it while the users are getting addicted to it. Netflix’s Project Power is more than just a review of powers-in-a-pill tropes. Three characters team up and get caught up in this new world for very different, personal reasons.
Project Power Is A Buddy Cop Trio Action Movie That Works Wonderfully
Dynamic Duo | Image via Netflix.
The Netflix original movie is a great watch. It’s incredibly entertaining from beginning to end and doesn’t really have a slow moment during its entire runtime. The movie opens with Robin (Dominique Fishback) a young teen who happens to sell the power pills on the side to provide for her ailing single-mother. She has a friendly professional relationship with a local New Orleans police officer, Frank (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who is also one of her customers. These two have a pretty cute dynamic as Frank gifts her a run-down dirt bike. Frank takes care of her like a family member, while also condoning her part-time drug dealing for his own selfish reasons.
The story picks up with the introduction of The Major (Jamie Foxx), a deadly and motivated man trying to track down the source of the power pills in the city for his own mysterious reasons. During his investigation, he comes across Robin and strong arms her to get to her supplier. As the Major beats down a group of middlemen, he ends up saving and bonding with Robin and the two embark on this adventure together.
The Netflix Original Builds A Great World, but Never Truly Examines It
Project Power builds a world set in New Orleans, unlike any other movie I’ve seen set in the city. The movie avoids any stereotypical depictions of New Orleans which is refreshing. The world of the story is even more intriguing. Some minor Spoilers will follow for the next paragraph only.
Power pill gone rampant. | Image via Netflix.
We find out that Foxx’s character was part of experiments in the military, as part of the research that eventually led to the power pill. While the experimentation didn’t take, something passed down to his eventual daughter who now has permanent powers, naturally. Abducting her and using her as a lab rat, the bad guys created the pill that drives the story. Despite this amazing backstory, and introducing that powers exist naturally in this world, it’s all glossed over pretty quickly. While we get to see the natural progression of an artificial pill with powers in the world, no one bats an eye at the idea of people having actual powers. Not even in the third act when that plays a huge part in the story.
Ok, spoiler over.
Jamie Foxx Back in a Leading Role Is as Awesome as We Remember It
He’s not lying. | Image via Netflix
The strongest aspect of Project Power is its incredibly awesome cast. Foxx as the desperate and driven badass trying to rescue his daughter is thrilling. In recent times Foxx has only done supporting roles in movies like Robin Hood, Baby Driver, and Just Mercy. However, seeing him back in an action blockbuster like this is a treat, and definitely reminiscent of good times. And then there’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt who is just as charismatic as usual. As Frank, he walks a fine line of idealist but also a realistic loose-cannon cop. Which is also something that we rarely see from the talented actor. Think his police character from the Dark Knight Rises but like Batman at his most disconnected.
The breakout star of Project Power though, is Dominique Fishback. The movie truly belongs to Fishback as it opens on her and ends with her as well. It’s really from her perspective, and her involvement is really what we’re meant to care about. This is a little different as the trailer and marketing makes it seem more like Major’s story, but the movie itself is a different case altogether. A lot of the plot moves forward as a direct result of Robin’s actions in the story. She’s a young woman with her own passions, in a difficult situation and does whatever it takes to survive. Despite that, the movie doesn’t treat it as a cliche, because Fishback totally sells her character to the audience. Her chemistry with her more experienced leading men speaks volumes about her talent.
Netflix’s Project Power Is A Fun Action Entertainer
Superpowers revealed! | Image via Netflix.
Overall, Netflix’s Project Power review is really about how the movie is a fun action entertainer that doesn’t need to be more than what it is. It’s got great performances, decent special effects, and some cool action sequences that make it worth the watch. While the world could be better developed, the movie doesn’t rely on a deep backstory for the audiences to enjoy what’s happening in the moment. I definitely wouldn’t mind a Project Power sequel or even ongoing franchise. There are endless possibilities of a wide range of stories based on a special pill set in this world.
Project Power is now streaming on Netflix.
What did you think about Netflix’s Project Power? Let us know in the comments below.
Featured image via Netflix.
Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at BlankPageBeatdown.com or on Twitter @theshahshahid.