One thing I’ll say straight off the bat about Project Power – Netflix’s latest big-name release featuring Jamie Foxx and Joseph Gordon-Levitt – is that it looks ace. If you’ve ever seen Nerve (a nifty truth-or-dare thriller) you’ll know directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman can really play with the colours and landscapes in a cool-looking way. Yet underneath the aesthetics there’s not a lot there.
Having a superpower is the ultimate dream for many. Whether it be flying, x-ray vision or my own personal favourite, invisibility, there’s lots of different ideas to play with. What’s frustrating about Project Power – a movie that’s focus lies on a drug that gives you a superpower for five minutes – is that it blows a really interesting premise. When you take the drug, you don’t know what your power could be, or whether your body can actually take it. Yet the film only flirts with the bare bones of powers, showing off a fleeting range and adding very little new.
Thankfully it has a cast with star power (Foxx and Levitt) and an impressive up-and-comer (Dominique Fishback) who instantly drop pinches of charm, charisma and depth over an overwise flat story as they all battle, in their own ways, to get this drug off the streets. One moment of hope came with a really fun superhero-ish action sequence shot from the viewpoint of inside a glass chamber which really showed off some cinematic flare, yet it never really captured this moment of imaginative camerawork again. What a let-down it is.