Film review: Project Power ‘won’t live very long in the memory’

PUBLISHED: 10:46 27 August 2020 | UPDATED: 10:46 27 August 2020

Jamie Foxx as Art in Project Power. Picture: SKIP BOLEN/NETFLIX 2020

Jamie Foxx as Art in Project Power. Picture: SKIP BOLEN/NETFLIX 2020

© 2020 Netflix, Inc.

Paul Steward reviews new Netflix movie Project Power starring Jamie Foxx, which is available to stream now.

Jamie Foxx as Art in Project Power. Picture: SKIP BOLEN/NETFLIX 2020Jamie Foxx as Art in Project Power. Picture: SKIP BOLEN/NETFLIX 2020

Netflix’s latest release sees Oscar winner Jamie Foxx team up with Joseph Gordon Levitt to take on dealers pushing an experimental new drug on the streets of New Orleans.

Written by Mattson Tomlin, one of the writers behind the upcoming Robert Pattinson Batman film, Project Power attempts to look at the superhero genre from a different angle.

Here the powers on display are only temporary, and come from a mysterious new pill being peddled in the back alleys of the Big Easy.

Once taken, the user is imbued with a five minute burst of power, however how that power manifests is dependent on the person.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Frank in Project Power. Picture: SKIP BOLEN/NETFLIXJoseph Gordon-Levitt as Frank in Project Power. Picture: SKIP BOLEN/NETFLIX

Some become bulletproof or exhibit super strength, whilst others simply explode, making it a kind of Russian roulette.

When the pill helps to escalate crime within the city to dangerous levels, Gordon-Levitt’s local cop Frank teams with Foxx’s former soldier Art and a teenage dealer played by newcomer Dominique Fishback, to track down and stop the group responsible for creating it.

Unfortunately, the films interesting premise is somewhat wasted.

Directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, known predominantly for their debut documentary Catfish plus two paranormal activity sequels, are given a sizeably bigger budget to work with.

Rodrigo Santoro as Biggie in Project Power. Picture: SKIP BOLEN/NETFLIX  2020Rodrigo Santoro as Biggie in Project Power. Picture: SKIP BOLEN/NETFLIX 2020

However their over edited action scenes are hard to follow and the powers on show have all been seen before, and been done better in the various X-Men films.

Jamie Foxx is believable as the rugged ex soldier with a hidden agenda, and remains a captivating screen presence, however Levitt is miscast and hard to take seriously as a rugged cop gone rogue.

The films most memorable performance comes from Fishback.

The charismatic newcomer appears to be a star in the making, in spite of a couple of cringe inducing rap scenes shoehorned in simply to showcase her talent.

Jamie Foxx as Art in Project Power. Picture: SKIP BOLEN/NETFLIX 2020Jamie Foxx as Art in Project Power. Picture: SKIP BOLEN/NETFLIX 2020

Brazilian actor Rodrigo Santoro and Amy Landecker take on the roles of the antagonists from the shadowy Telios organisation, but are both instantly forgettable.

On the plus side the film is fast paced and flashy enough to maintain interest for the duration of its run time.

Ultimately, however, it feels like a rather hollow mixture of elements from much better films.

Easy to access from the safety of your own sofa, Project Power will pass two hours of your time on a rainy day, but won’t live very long in the memory.

Dominique Fishback as Robin in Project Power. Picture: SKIP BOLEN/NETFLIX 2020Dominique Fishback as Robin in Project Power. Picture: SKIP BOLEN/NETFLIX 2020

Dominique Fishback as Robin in Project Power. Picture: SKIP BOLEN/NETFLIX 2020Dominique Fishback as Robin in Project Power. Picture: SKIP BOLEN/NETFLIX 2020

Dominique Fishback as Robin in Project Power. Picture: ALFONSO BRESCIANI/NETFLIX 2020Dominique Fishback as Robin in Project Power. Picture: ALFONSO BRESCIANI/NETFLIX 2020


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