Project Power (2020) A Review

I love Superhero films.  A lot.  So I am always excited to watch a new one.  Especially one that approaches the genre a bit differently.  So was it any good?

Certificate: 15

Director: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman

Screenwriter: Mattson Tomlin

Starring: Jamie Foxx, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Dominique Fishback

Genre: Action, Crime

Runtime: 111 Minutes

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

On the streets of New Orleans, word begins to spread about a mysterious new pill that unlocks superpowers unique to each user. The catch: You don’t know what will happen until you take it. While some develop bulletproof skin, invisibility, and super strength, others exhibit a deadlier reaction. But when the pill escalates crime within the city to dangerous levels, a local cop (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) teams with a teenage dealer (Dominique Fishback) and a former soldier fueled by a secret vendetta (Jamie Foxx) to fight power with power and risk taking the pill in order to track down and stop the group responsible for creating it. Written by Netflix

Superhero movies may be a dime a dozen these days, under usual circumstances that is, but that doesn’t mean that I stopped enjoying them.  I still love them just as much as I did when I was a kid.  Except now, with the market for Superhero films being what it is, creators are having to try something new with the genre in order to get noticed.  And that’s how we ended up here.  ‘Project Power’ is a slightly darker and grittier superhero world, but that is where the individuality ends, because it is still basically made up of exactly the same components of every other superhero movie you have seen.  Right down to the choices of powers that they use.  There are nods to The Hulk, Human Torch, Wolverine and a wealth of other famous superheroes.  I was a little disappointed they couldn’t come up with something more original.

The story itself is pretty good, though the inclusion of a teenage sidekick, pushed the superhero shtick a little bit too far, and I don’t think adding in a few well performed Raps, was enough to justify her involvement with a world wide drug cartel.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a slightly unhinged local cop with a penchant for imitating Clint Eastwood, which also ramps up the cheese factor.  It is Jamie Foxx’s performance here that stops the film from being an all out cheese fest.  He has a motive and a tough attitude that really work to move the story along.  Something the film direly needs.

Visually, this film is stunning. Joost and Schulman teamed up with cinematographer Michael Simmonds, who they previously worked with on ‘Nerve.’  So the night-time shots are just as beautiful as you would imagine if you have seen that film.  Everything has a slight neon glow to it, and the fight scenes and driving scenes are also shot excellently.  It is a fest for the eyes, but lacks in other important areas.

Fans of superhero films (I hear there are a few of us left) will find themselves in familiar ground with this one, and will have a fun time, even though there isn’t much here to differentiate from other films of it’s type.  But I would recommend skipping it if you are suffering for Superhero fatigue, there is nothing here to offer the genre the fresh blood you would be looking too.

‘Project Power’ is streaming on Netflix  now!

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