Is Netflix’s Project Power A Good Movie?

Netflix's Project power

I first saw “Project power” cover in a sponsored tweet from Netflix UK and Ireland’s Twitter account. It was a random Saturday after and I was scrolling and scowling down the timeline when I saw the question “What would you chose to become if you have the pill that gives you the power to become whatever you want to become?” or something like this. Put aside the average tweet, I was concerned that I was getting Netflix UK tweet when I am six good hours by a speeding flight away from the United Kingdom. I wasn’t interested, initially, because while the best movie I have watched in a while is a Netflix production, The Irishman, I have watched a load of nonsense from the platform. So, I only watch Netflix movies that come to me recommended by a trusted movie person. I would never have taken the word of a Twitter account seriously. But something made a difference: the sight of Jamie Foxx.

My first time seeing Jamie Foxx in a film wasn’t a great impression. It was on “Django Unchained” and I found the violence too much to swallow. But Jamie has since redeemed himself in my eyes. His last act seen by yours sincerely was “Just Mercy“. Between him and Michael B. Jordan and others (obviously), they made an emotive and powerful story about racism, racial injustice, and the black-phobic penal system of the United States. It is a movie I would still watch again so when I saw Jamie in Netflix’s “Project Power”, I know it would be good, or at least easily forgivable.

The movie was written by Mattson Tomlin, was produced by Eric Newman Bryan Unkeless and directed by Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost. I haven’t seen any movie or show by the duo but I am not particular about directors as much I am of genres and this is a sci-fi action which isn’t anywhere my thing but which I still appreciate when I see a well-made one like Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” and can’t wait to see his coronavirus-disrupted showing of “Tenet”. So I went on to watch “Project Power”.

The film is about Jamie Foxx’s character of Art who is in a quest to rescue his daughter from the underworld hands of Power pill makers or dealers who find her a useful guinea pig for their experiments. It is also about the New Orleans cop Frank Shaver played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt; this character has the power pill and using it to harden his body thereby making himself bulletproof. The last of the triumvirate is Robin a book-dull, street-smart Robin played by Dominique Fishback who is a dealer of the powerful pill and a partner of the cop in dealing with crime.

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Art doesn’t do it the easy way. He goes as far as torturing Robin and getting his house burned by a fire-spitting beast under the influence of the pill for the needed information. This quest to rescue his daughter is not just the story, it is the fuel that runs the story. Art engages in a lot of men to man-on-man fights with men and beasts, he jumps off buildings and we see buildings getting blown into pieces. There are a lot of actions to go round. And the execution wasn’t bad; more than that, I could say the execution was top-notch. It was entertaining to watch if you are one for the thrills.

The whole of the show is full of conspirators so that even the police department cannot be trusted. But the new-found tag team of Art and Shaver must save the world from the grip of Power. The last battle isn’t so hot for me but it is passable. The end doesn’t surprise at all and perhaps, for people who are already become attached to the characters, something good.

Is Netflix’s “Project Power” good?

Notice I didn’t say good enough which means it has passed the good enough stage which is good enough for many. But is it really good? Well, perhaps you can rephrase the question as “Is it a good movie to pass the time with?” The answer to this one is easy; it is a good movie to pass the time with. You would enjoy a lot of the scenes.

I did but the whole movie didn’t give me the satisfaction that a great movie would. The first failure (and perhaps the only one that mattered) is the fact that I wasn’t emotionally drawn to the characters. The writing or directing of the show didn’t get me to love any of the characters. I believe it was deliberate. To just give us a show that draws its power from bullets, fire, blood, and sweat. Movies are a part of literature, no literary piece exists in a vacuum. No literary piece should. And the impetus is not political and the rest. Of course, it can be political and all that but if it fails to hit the emotional chords, it fails a little, and “Project Power” failed a little.

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But, thankfully, I am not the only person whose opinion counts. Emotional touches are one important aspect of the mechanics that make up a good movie for me. 1917 has it. The Irishman has it. Jojo Rabbit has it. Living in Bondage has it. They are highly rated movies in the past year for me. I cannot trade emotiveness for anything in a drama. Maybe a stomach-bending comedy can try but not giddy actions.

If the emotional part of moving pictures doesn’t play a big role in how you rate a movie then this movie is very good for you. If you are like me and the softer aspects of shows mean a thing or two for you then “Netflix’s Project Power” is not a very good movie. Ultimately, the issue of whether “Project Power” is good or not depends on your taste.

Image source: IMDb

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