REVIEW: “PROJECT POWER”: BEYOND THE SUPERHERO FLICK

LIAM EASLEY, ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT DIRECTOR

It’s quite unusual to see that even the movie industry has sustained itself through the pandemic. While “Project Power” is one of those movies that had likely been in production far before the lockdown, there have even been movies written and created during quarantine (i.e. “Host,” a horror film about a Zoom meeting gone wrong).

In the context of the Netflix original, “Project Power,” directed by Henry Joost, it was one of those science fiction flicks released by Netflix that looked like it would have been terrible. However, do not judge this book by its cover because it was not bad; it was actually pretty good.

Jamie Foxx played Art, the fellow who came to take down the bad guy and the mass corporation behind the whole scheme. What was the scheme? A powerful drug had been unleashed upon the streets of New Orleans that gave its user a random superpower for five minutes. Each superpower was biological – it mimicked a certain adaptation found in nature, meaning some of them were defensive. Most of them were deadly.

The film took on a trope that was definitely predictable. In fact, it was reminiscent of every other superhero film (outside of the dynamic outcome of the Marvel Universe in “Infinity War” and “Endgame”). Despite its overarching predictability, what came as a surprise were the specific plot points, but I won’t spill that can of beans.

I actually found it easy to say that “Project Power” was a decent movie. There were some corny moments that invoked angst that I haven’t felt since the movies I enjoyed in high school, but this film was beyond that. When it wasn’t taking on the conspiracy of the drug, it was explaining the importance of civil rights.

The superpower drug was unleashed through drug dealers who dealt in underprivileged areas, which were populated by mostly Black and Latino demographics. The movie acknowledged and understood the systematic oppression that is not only going on now but was also being portrayed in this movie through the metaphor of the power pill.

In the end, this movie was one of those that wore the mask of the typical comic book superhero film. But unlike “Green Lantern” or “The Dark Knight” or “Spiderman: Far From Home,” this film had actual, real-life meaning and was not just a story.

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