Project Power – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Project Power – 5 Minutes: A Tale of … Potential

It begins with a single thought.  It is that blossoming potential where the imagination can bring about amazing possibilities.  This is true for any medium, including film.  For every memorable story, there is always those lost in the fray.  In this latest Netflix original, it is the epitome of a great idea with mixed results.  Project Power combines pushes the familiar into something different, but never manages to go above and beyond its unique premise.

When an unprecedented drug hits the streets of New Orleans, it brings mayhem to the city.  Faced against all odds, three individuals’ team up to take down those responsible for the drug.  The outline provides a foundation of realism infused with science fiction.  With two contrasting elements, it allows for the idea to situate within a construct of believability.  The central theme is on a drug that grants ‘superpowers’ for five minutes.  The drug is sent to dealers of New Orleans to sell on the streets.  After this quick prologue, we get introduced to the main players of the story: local cop Frank (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), ex-solider Art (Jamie Foxx) and teenager dealer Robin (Dominique Fishback).  The entanglement of their stories is conveniently brought together through this McGuffin (power pill).  the film then moves along a linear directive to lift the vale of this empowering drug.  Through a combination of CGI, car chases and overtly expositional dialogue, the storytelling is leveled through standard explanation of ‘who, what and why’.  The first half pushes forward loose threads of potential, but never engages beyond a surface level approach.  What you have is a directive to move along a predictable path that is found in any typical action, crime or comic book film.

As we move into the latter half, the film pits the main characters against standard villains.  As they are forced into the unexpected, it becomes the common ‘race against time’ motif used to generate conflict between each party.  As everyone is centered on the McGuffin, one-dimensional motives and lackluster development creates a hollowness to the experience.  All the action, CGI creation of powers and aftereffects provide glimpses but never utilize the potential of the idea.  When everything comes to head, it leads into a predictable climax.  Project Power puts forth potential, but falters in execution.  Even with strong main characters, it never captures the moment.  If you are a fan of those involved or like a different twist on comic book films, this is one for you.  It is available on Netflix, but it would be worth seeing at theaters for the right price.       

Full Score – 3 out of 5 (Theater Discount)

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