NEW TO NETFLIX! Imagine for a moment you could take a pill that would give you superpowers. Sounds great, right? Except you don’t get to choose your powers, they only last for five minutes, and you might explode. That’s right. Side effects may include loss of limbs, sudden explosions in your intestines, or just embarrassing CGI. Who would take this pill? The criminal underworld of New Orleans, of course, and one slightly creepy, but adorable, cop played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He’s a cop who teams up with a teen drug dealer (Dominique Fishback) and a vengeance-driven vigilante (Jamie Foxx) to discover the source of this mysterious pill in the Netflix original Project Power.
I honestly thought I would hate this movie. Based solely on the trailer, this looks like a terrible film. And, to be fair, there is a lot to hate here. But somehow, with each successive transgression of cinematic norms and common sense, it just gets funnier and more enjoyable. Project Power is a hot mess dumpster fire with explosions and curse words. It’s fun to watch, but you just know that this is somehow bad for you.
“Side effects may include loss of limbs, sudden explosions in your intestines, or just embarrassing CGI.”
Mattson Tomlin’s screenplay is like the fever dream of a teenager who binged ALL the anime while drinking meth and mescaline cocktails. Project Power is a frenetic and, at times, confusing mess that still somehow manages to be entertaining. Characters are inconsistent, the action is confusing, and coincidences abound in this tornado of cliche tropes.
Side note: Anytime a character says, “This isn’t a comic book, this is real life,” a bunch of unbelievable s#*t is going to go down real soon.
Directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman do a journeyman job at the helm. With the exception of a few inspired moments (one, in particular, involving cold temperatures and fog), the action sequences are muddled. It becomes easy to lose track of who is doing what to whom and when. But then there is how they handle the talking bits of Project Power. It feels as though no thought was given to them at all. Anytime the characters aren’t actively trying to kill each other, it feels like the directors just got bored and are marking time till they can get to the “good part.”
"…a hot mess dumpster fire with explosions and curse words…"