Thursday, August 13, 2020

Project Power Review: A Stellar Cast And Fantastic Effects

Release date: August 14, 2020
Running time: 111 minutes
Starring:  Jamie Foxx, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Dominique Fishback 

Project Power takes us to the city of New Orleans where a new super drug has hit the streets. But with this drug results can go two totally drastically different directions, instant death or superpower. That's because the ability to gain super powers is based on tons of variables including: the drug itself, you the host, and the desired outcome. In success you can obtain super strength, thermoregulation, and much more. Frank (Gordon-Levitt) a New Orleans police officer along with the help of his teenage street informant dealer Robin (Fishback) find themselves on the same trajectory as former soldier Art (Foxx).  Together, they seek to use the drug that they are hoping to take down; they will fight power with power, taking the pill in order to track down and stop the group responsible for creating it.

When the trailer dropped for Project Power there were a few things that instantly grabbed my attention; the star-studded cast, catchy lyrical word play, and the stunning VFX.  Just the concept of a pill that can evolve humans into something more is intriguing.  Throw in Netflix's recent success with action movies (Extraction, The Old Guard, etc) and you instantly have a recipe for success.  With that being said the film just didn't capitalize on the intriguing idea.  I think that this comes down to flaws in the script itself.  There was a lack of depth within the plot and character development.  And when you have a cast like this, I know it wasn't on the actors that caused this.  Nonetheless the movie provide stunning VFX that are complemented by absolutely stellar SFX.  The two work together to really enhance the action and make that quite exciting.  This is really on display during the first phase of the film!

With this film taking place in New Orleans there is always the opportunity to utilize its backdrop to provide a really unique aesthetic. A city known for its culture and arts, it is always a good idea to showcase its city murals.  Robin played by Fishback is a young aspiring musician who throughout this film displays her talent for freestyle rap.  Lyrics for her freestyle were written by down south artist Chika which gives it an added layer of authenticity.  Jamie Foxx and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are both given characters that don't have much to work with and I was surprised that they didn't work their trademark magic.  The dialogue and humor here just fall flat, again a surprise given I love both of these actors.  Thankfully, when they were paired with Fishback, it brought the best out of everyone.  And strangely, this movie is rated R yet feels totally PG-13.  

Overall for an action film this movie has it moments but its truly up it the viewers on willpower to stay invested for the long run.  Come for the star-studded cast, phenomenal visual effects, and stellar sound, but as bitter of a pill as it is to swallow, don't expect an evolution in the genre.

Rent it.

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