Project Power takes a darker look at gaining superpowers, which should make for an exciting new superhero/thriller.
But despite its promising ideas and including fantastic actors like Jamie Foxx and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, this film doesn’t completely deliver on its potential and just leaves you feeling underwhelmed.
The story takes place in New Orleans, where drug dealers are being supplied with a new pill called Power, that gives you superpowers for five minutes. Each user never knows what their power is going to be until they take it, which ranges from invisibility to being bulletproof.
When things start to get more dangerous in the city as a result of this new pill, a teenage drug dealer and a local cop team up with an ex-soldier to take down the people who are behind all this.
The idea of a pill that gives you superpowers for five minutes and not knowing what it will be until you take it, is a really interesting concept for a story. Particularly how it takes a dark approach to it, by showing how the side effects of these pills mirrors drug addiction.
One scene sees one of the dealers taking several of the pills at once and they are unable to handle how strong their power is, that it kills them. Just going to show how dangerous and addictive their new powers can become.
The action scenes in this film are done decently enough but they are very few and far between, which is disappointing as you would think that in a film about gaining superpowers, that they would take advantage of this.
In one scene, we see Frank Shaver (Gordon-Levitt) taking one of these pills in order to foil a bank robbery where you initially don’t see what his powers are, but after a thrilling sequence where he chases the criminal throughout the city, they are finally revealed to us when they come face to face with each other
It brilliantly blends suspension and thrills, which is just a shame there weren’t more scenes like this in the film. Instead the film just pushes dull exposition and lets things build up at a slow and boring rate, often leaving you waiting for something exciting to happen.
It’s not just the action scenes that lets the film down, the story feels a little messy as well with the bigger plot points playing out as bland and generic and some of the smaller interesting plot points don’t get much development and feel unresolved.
The main focus of the story is Art (Foxx) trying to get his daughter back from the distributors of the pill, and despite there being a decent set-up with Art’s own personal vendetta and history with the bad guys, everything about it from the pacing to the dialogue felt boring and cliched.
The CG in the film doesn’t look too convincing, particularly in a couple of scenes where the characters powers are taking effect. Instead of looking intimidating or cool, at times it just comes across as cheap and almost laughable.
Dominique Fishback gives a star making performance as Robin, doing a fantastic job at holding her own against Foxx and Gordon-Levitt. She brings empathy and intelligence to this streetsmart girl who is caught up in this dark and dangerous world, which allows you to root for her and she proves to be an entertaining lead.
Jamie Foxx does a fine job in his portrayal as Art Reilly, once again bringing the charismatic and badass persona that he has shown in many of his previous roles. Even though some of his story arcs feel a little underwhelming, Foxx does his best with the material and does have some great scenes with Dominique Fishback to work with.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is brilliant in the role of Frank Shaver, who is an interesting character but feels underused. His story arc that sees him taking the pill, in order for him to be better at his job could have been an interesting plot thread, but sadly hardly any attention was given to it.
Much like Jamie Foxx, he also does a fine job at portraying both the tough hero trying to take down the bad guys, but also displaying a caring side that shows that despite his business relationship with Robin, he does genuinely care for her wellbeing.
Asides from good performances from the cast and the occasional good action sequence, Project Power doesn’t live up to its potential and leaves you feeling bored.
Purple Revolver Rating: 3/5- Super Powers? More like Super Dull