Currently showing on Netflix, Project Power(2020) takes a refreshing look at superpowers from another side of the spectrum. Inside the power of a little pill lies a spark that harnesses the true potential energy and the ability of what a person is born with. One must be careful because some people get good energy and some bad. The pill is still in its testing phase when it emerges in the underground and on streets. One could explode from the inside or use it sparingly to channel one’s ability. But there are no guarantees. One individual gets the “Power” for only 5 minutes after ingesting it!
A young teen “Power” dealer named Robin is working with New Orleans Police Officer Frank Shaver to get the drug off the streets. Frank uses it once in a while to gain an advantage over the criminals he is apprehending. Meanwhile, a vigilante man they call “Art” is looking for his daughter, who has been taken from him forcefully by the authorities. We discover later he was a test subject for “Project Power.” Art fights his way through the streets and makes his connections trying to get back to his daughter.
Project Power on Netflix (2020) has great potential but falls short of becoming a greater superhero movie. As an African American female, these stories are rarely told through this lens. Dominique Fishbeck’s character (Robin) bonds with Jamie Foxx’s character (Art) because she begins to see him as a father figure. Robin understands Art’s plan to get back to his daughter. On the other hand, NOPD Frank Shaver tries to track down Art and apprehend him (at all costs). Eventually, Art becomes the main target of the investigation with the New Orleans Police Department and “Project Power.” Once he finds “the Source” or “the Seller/Distributor” of the “Power Project,” then he will see where they are keeping his daughter for testing. The name of “the Source” is a man named “Biggie.”
We are beginning to see films with young teen strong black female leads, but there needs to be more development with these characters. Robin needs to have more opportunities to address her condition and rise above her situation. In the film, she has excellent rap skills, but how can she use this as a superpower and “Black Girl Power”? The screenwriter Matteson Tomlin doesn’t necessarily use this fact to her advantage. Maybe he wanted Robin to be pure and not take the power pill? However, I do like the fact that Art’s daughter, Tracy, has great superpowers and is a gentle soul.
I thought this was a great concept and very entertaining. Still, it fell short of the opportunity to develop the black female lead character and her relationship with the police officer (Frank) and the vigilante (Art). Why does Robin have to be a drug dealer?
Overall, Project Power on Netflix (2020) is a great summer movie that had stunning visual effects. There also could have been more of a back story about the streets of New Orleans and why it is so important to get “Project Power” off the streets. I do like, however, that Tomlin incorporated the New Orleans Saints and patriotism into the screenplay. This did help the movie along. Also, there were a couple of killer fight scenes that made this film make me take a second look. It’s no Avengers, but not bad for a summer flick.