A new drug, “ Power”, hits the streets of New Orleans, causing people to have superpowers for a period of five minutes. It’s up to a teenage drug dealer, a cop, and an ex-soldier to take down the distributor.
Of all of the Netflix action movies I’ve reviewed, this one is the best. Is that saying much? No, but that doesn’t make it any less the case. Netflix is known for its great TV shows. Sure, they’ve come out with a few good films, but it’s the shows that are remembered (Stranger Things, House of Cards). None of their action movies have garnered anywhere near that success, though many have tried. The Old Guard and Bright, while having a good budget, had terrible stories attached to it. Project Power cost a good amount of money too, though more of it was put towards the script, and you can tell.
One of my favorite parts about this film is it’s slight deviation from the norm. It’s not like it revolutionized the sci-fi action genre, but it did have a few unique moments. For example, there’s one scene in which the distributor’s henchmen are interrogating the mother of the teenage drug dealer, Robin. The cop, Frank, sneaks in the bathroom, takes off all of his clothes and puts a towel around himself, pretending to be the mother’s boyfriend just coming out of the shower. This gets rid of the henchmen. Yes, it’s a little silly that the cop is able to convince the mom that he’s a good guy, given the situation, even if just for a moment. But, it was still an interesting way of both fixing the situation and developing Frank as a character. Frank deals with conflicts by playing a character, making people believe whatever that said character is saying. This scene helped show the range of characters he can play.
I felt that I understood all of this movie’s characters, and cared about them. Some of them were a bit trope-y, but I wouldn’t have done without any of them, even if some had less screen time then others. They all brought something to the table, and oftentimes something a little different as well. Several of the characters had very interesting mindsets, and oftentimes backwards logic that was surprisingly complex for a film such as this. Characters use the drug that they’re trying to stop, as they need to stop the “power”-using protagonist.
Similar to Bright, I was impressed with this movie’s visuals. I’m a huge fan of films set in ugly, impoverished areas, as it helps develop atmosphere. I’ve never been to New Orleans, so I don’t know what the culture is like there, but I feel like the creators of this movie portrayed it’s underbelly perfectly. Every supermarket and dilapidated apartment building feels like it comes from reality, and I loved every second of it.
It’s surprising to see how many semi-famous people were in this film. Machinegun Kelly and Casey Neistat play minor roles. I’m guessing adding them was a marketing technique as their social media influence is much greater then their roles within the film. Either way, it was interesting to see these celebs.
This may be the best action movie Netflix has done, but that doesn’t mean it’s good. Yes, the characterization is solid, and yes the settings are cool, but it’s rife with plot holes that can’t be ignored. The biggest one, by far, is the antagonist. If you haven’t noticed, I haven’t mentioned the name of the distributors once by name throughout this entire review. I’m sure if you read other reviews of this movie online, you’ll see the same thing. That’s because this film’s unclear as to who the bad guy is. They hint to it being the US military, but that can’t be true given they’re selling it to foreign governments. Doesn’t the US military have enough money so as not to need to give one of their most powerful weapons to another country? Either way, they don’t directly say anything to identify themselves.
Overall, this was a decent action movie with a few good scenes. It’s not the best film of all time, but it’s worth the watch.
Project Power: Netflix’s Best (sci-fi action movie)
Writing - 7.8/107.8/10
Storyline - 6/106/10
Acting - 8.8/108.8/10
Music - 7.9/107.9/10
Production - 9/109/10
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