Project Power (2020) - Aroundtable Movie Review
The movie Project Power was produced by Netflix and stars Jamie Foxx, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Dominique Fishback. The movie takes place in New Orleans, where the word on the streets is that a new pill (drug) can unlock superpowers unique to each user. There is only one catch: you do not know what will happen to you when you take it. While some people develop superpowers like bullet proof skin, super strength, or invisibility, others have a deadlier reaction. In addition, if the drug works, it will last only 5 minutes. This new drug causes crime to escalate in the city to dangerous levels. A local cop (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) teams up with a teenage drug dealer (Dominque Fishback) and a former soldier driven by a secret vendetta (Jamie Foxx) to fight and stop the group responsible for creating it. That is pretty much the premise of the movie. It cost Netflix $85 Million Dollars to produce. Was it worth it that money?
Some critics were harsh about the movie basically saying that with an $85 million dollar budget, they could have done much more. Maybe that is true, but the gem of this movie is not the people’s superpowers but the underline story and dialogue between the main characters. The charismatic Jamie Foxx has great father-daughter chemistry with Dominique Fishback. Joseph Gordon-Lewitt's performance is great also. He is willing to do his best to save New Orleans. There is also a message somewhere with New Orleans being the backdrop of the story. There is no sign of jazz in the movie, and the people, more specifically the less privileged are the ones struggling as illustrated by the Dominique Fishback’s character where she is dealing dope so that she can pay for her mom’s cancer treatment. You can also see this as a metaphor with the Hurricane Katrina fiasco. The city is still recovering from it, basically saying that the people of New Orleans has not forgiven the inaction of the political establishment. I believe that the movie is more about that than the superpowers and action.
There are some cool action sequences in the movie. The one at the beginning of the movie where Joseph Gordon-Lewitt runs after an invisible man is quite enjoyable. However, if you were looking for an Avengers type of movie, you were probably disappointed and probably why some people gave it a poor review. The substance is much more important than the action. If you look at the movie with this perspective, you will definitely enjoy it. You can see the movie trailer below:
There was a lot of hype for Project Power before it was released. I think people labelled it as a superhero movie and got disappointed that it was more of a dramatic movie with some action sequences. I think it was designed that way, and perhaps the reason why it was produced by Netflix. Any other studio would probably not go for it. The movie is fun with just the right balance between action and drama. In no means it should be worthy of an academy award, but simply good entertainment. I think in these times when you can get entertained, it is a plus for everyone.
This movie is 8 out of 10 stars. A great Friday movie with your loved ones.