Project Power’s should have been better then it was. The film had a great cast, an interesting premise and great action pieces, but it got lost inside its premise and grand ideas, combine that with the pacing issues that the film unfortunately has, the film is nothing more than forgettable by the end. Enjoyable, but forgettable.
When a new drug that supposedly unlocks unique superpowers for everyone arrives on the streets of New Orleans, nothing is safe anymore. Local cop (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) teams up with a teenage dealer (Dominique Fishback) and a former soldier (Jamie Foxx), who has ulterior motives to go after this new drug, to clear the streets and find out who is behind this dangerous new drug.
As a concept, Project Power is a top tear. It’s something that could fuel stories and ideas because of how vast the premise is and how many unique powers exists in this world. The film only touches the surface of the world that it is trying to build because of that it simply gets lost and feels rushed. By doing so, it jeopardizes the main thing it is trying to establish, the relationships. Everything is happening so quickly that you can’t help but feel rush along the way. The film just tries to rush through its plot points, and it merely feels like the film goes from setting something to an action piece. It never truly feels coherent and becomes very step by step, never deriving from what is has established. It’s a shame because if the film had taken a few action pieces out, then it would have had more time for the primary relationships, and maybe we would have been more invested in them.
To me, Dominique Fishback is the star of the film. I was unfamiliar with her previous work or knew very little of it, so discovering her was a great plus. Not only could she hold her own against heavy hitters like Jaime Foxx and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, she truly stole the film. Her comedic timing was always on point, and her raps were pure fire. To me, she should have been at the center of the film. I was way more invested in her story then I was in the other two. The story of a young kid trying to hustle on the street to survive, only to find herself in way over her head, and having to endure it is something that I think we mostly see with male characters. Seeing it from the other perspective would have been interesting. The thing is because we have to spend so much time introducing all the characters and the world, her story never reaches her peak, and unfortunately, she gets the least amount of development.
Other than the acting that never truly falters, the film benefits from great cinematography, editing and soundtrack. If there’s one thing we can say is that the film looks great. The special effects all work and the transitions when the characters take the pill are great (maybe a little overused, but I can forgive that). There is one sequence where a fight scene is shot from someone’s POV inside a small room, and we just see it from the inside, and it was a cool moment that showed this movie honestly tried to be different. I found myself a couple of times saying how great a shot was, and there is no denying that the action is the centrepiece of the film, and you can see how much time was spent to make sure that it was all perfect.
Project Power had potential, and to some things, it does meet it. But, the film would have benefited from a longer running time. It would have been perfect to have a mini-series, in my opinion, because it would have had more time to establish not only the relationships but also the world. The film is not terrible in any way; it just doesn’t meet the expectation I had set for it and is very forgettable by the end of it all.