Project Power Parent Guide
Despite its superpower premise, this is much too violent to be a family friendly popcorn flick.
Parent Movie Review
New Orleans has never been more dangerous. A new drug is on the streets, but its effects are dramatically different from other illegal substances. Anyone who takes a single pill gets five minutes of superpowers. The catch? They don’t get to pick the power. For some people, this means bursting into flames, turning invisible, super strength…for others, it means immediately exploding. Some daring criminals have decided it’s worth the risk and are not only making a killing selling the drugs but are using the superpowers to rob banks. Robin (Dominique Fishback) has been caught up in the new opportunities and dangers created by the new product. She sells the drug (called simply Power) but her biggest client is Detective Frank Shaver (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who uses the bullet-proof ability he gets to prevent some of these crimes. Until, that is, a mysterious man known only as “The Major” (Jamie Foxx) turns up and sees Robin as his ticket up the supply chain to find who is really supplying the drug. The Major isn’t a cop, though…his interest is entirely personal. His daughter, Tracy (Kyanna Simone Simpson), is being used to synthesize the drug, and he wants her back.
There’s a lot going on in Project Power – maybe too much. A superhero/revenge/action/thriller with a plot that feels increasingly like one of the better episodes of “The X-Files?” It’s not surprising that the film feels a little muddy at times. There are so many directions it wants to go that it runs in circles for a while, trying to decide which genre it’s trying to claim.
Superhero stories are usually aimed at the teen and adult popcorn flick market but Project Power isn’t exactly family viewing. There’s no sexual content (a relief in Netflix movies) and the only real drug used on screen is Power which seems to have some nasty consequences. Those nasty consequences are probably going to be most people’s biggest issue, unless of course you’re trying to teach your kids anatomy and watching someone’s chest rip open strikes you as a good way to point out where lungs are supposed to be. Then there’s the profanity which, while again milder than some of Netflix’s other offerings, is probably too much for most family audiences.
Thankfully, it does feel, for the most part, sincere. The solid casting and resulting performances mean that these otherwise uninteresting characters become funny, relatable, and worth watching. The fact that this is screenwriter Mattson Tomlin’s first real feature-length script explains a lot of the genre confusion and over-ambition; hopefully he’ll sort out these problems on future films. Looking beyond these issues, Project Power is, for the most part, fun – a remarkable achievement in filmmaking these days.Directed by Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman. Starring Jamie Foxx, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Dominique Fishback. Running time: 111 minutes. Theatrical release August 14, 2020. Updated October 27, 2020
Watch the trailer for Project Power
Rating & Content Info
Why is Project Power rated R? Project Power is rated R by the MPAA for violence, bloody images, drug content and some language.
Violence: Individuals are shot and stabbed on multiple occasions, sometimes with graphic detail of the injury. Several people explode, typically scattering gore for a surprising distance. One character has their fingers shot off.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: There are five uses of extreme profanity, 16 uses of scatological cursing, and occasional use of mild profanity and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Individuals are briefly shown drinking. The central element of the plot is technically a drug, but it is not portrayed positively or recreationally.
Page last updated October 27, 2020
Project Power Parents' Guide
If you could choose a superpower, which one would you pick? Why?
Why do you think people are willing to risk exploding in order to obtain five minutes of superpowers? Do you think it’s worth it?
The most recent home video release of Project Power movie is August 14, 2020. Here are some details…
Related home video titles:
For another look at what happens when superpowers happen to anyone, Hancock is a good choice. Will Smith stars as the titular superhero – or rather, burnt out adult with superpowers. If you’re just here for the fun slow-mo shots of bullets deforming and bouncing off people, 2006’s Superman Returns has one of the best examples. As always, the best superhero alternative for family viewing is The Incredibles, which is an action-packed, fun, family friendly take on heroes.
If you want more “fathers searching desperately for their children”, there are two basic options. The “with murder” option, which includes things like Taken and its many derivatives. If you want the “without murder” variety, your options are going to be more limited to things like Searching, starring John Cho.