Project Power (2020)
August 16, 2020 12:45 PM - Subscribe

When a pill that gives its users unpredictable superpowers for five minutes hits the streets of New Orleans, a teenage dealer and a local cop must team with an ex-soldier to take down the group responsible for its creation. [Netflix]
posted by ellieBOA (5 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Roundup of first reviews, from Rotten Tomatoes: A Smart Superhero Flick to Scratch That Summer Blockbuster Itch.
posted by russilwvong at 12:41 PM on August 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

SPOILERS follow.

Things I liked:

I thought the concept - superpowers are biological, like a chameleon changing its colors instead of invisibility, and they come with a cost, like the guy who can set himself on fire but also has a lot of burn scars - was well-executed.

I liked the acting, especially the interaction between Jamie Foxx and Dominique Fishback.

I thought the motivation of the villains (exploiting New Orleans for unauthorized field trials) made total sense.

For a big-budget action movie, the final act felt somewhat flat. I'm not sure exactly why: does seeing it at home mean that it lacks the immersiveness of seeing it in a theater?

I think the lack of emotional highs and lows in the last act may have something to do with it. An anonymous Finnish video essayist ("Filmento") talks about how "Avengers Endgame" executes this very well during the final battle: going from an emotional low to a high, or from a high to a low, really makes the highs feel super-high, and the lows feel super-low. Like in "Aliens," when Ripley and Newt arrive at the platform with the queen on their heels, only to find that Bishop has abandoned them; the queen arrives, and they're about to die. And then BISHOP APPEARS! and they escape at the last minute. If Bishop had just been waiting for them, it wouldn't feel the same.

To make this work, I think you need the element of surprise - the more surprising it is, the stronger the emotional impact. When Art is revived by Tracy, it felt predictable rather than surprising. If we'd been set up to expect Art to die, by foreshadowing his death throughout the movie, maybe that would have had more impact?
posted by russilwvong at 10:46 AM on August 18, 2020 [2 favorites]

Yeah, I think they telegraphed Tracy's power a bit too much for it to be a surprise revelation, and I'm sort of confused how Art knew what his power was if using it, y'know, gave him a really bad case of Splodey Bloods. On the other hand, Art seemed like he was an awfully good bullet sponge, so maybe he had a bit of Tracy's power in him? (The power exists in everyone!)

Not bad, I mean I enjoyed it more than Bloodshot, mostly on the strength of the writing and dialogue?
posted by Kyol at 11:55 AM on August 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

I finally got around to seeing it. Much better than I expected - I came in with low expectations after a vague description of the film. The interplay among the three leads was good. I want to see Dominique Fishback in more things. She was great.

Since Art had been experimented on previous to Tracy's birth, I assume that's why he knew about his power.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:04 AM on October 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

watched this last night with no prior knowledge of what it was. not brilliant but sufficiently entertaining to keep us watching til the end.
posted by supermedusa at 9:37 AM on November 15, 2020

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