We’re just now starting to see a few major film be released this year. Movies like Wonder Woman, Black Widow, No Time to Die, Ghostbusters: Afterlife and Top Gun: Maverick are just some of the big films that were slated to be released much earlier this year but have been moved to much later dates. Which is why a lot of movie fans such as myself hunkering down at home and looking for any new released the streaming services are offering. Well, Netflix just released their “new major movie” Project Power. As I was hungry for new stuff, I did watch it as soon as it was made available.
Now, I know Project Power is not a major release but I’m sure a lot of Netflix users got on the service and watched it as well. And, well, even if it is a smaller movie, that’s not going to stop me from looking at the film and look at all the weird stuff I saw. These may not be really huge questions or anything like that. Rather, all the questions I’m going to detail here are just a few of the inconsequential questions I got.
Oh, and since most of my questions are all about plot points from the film, I’m warning all readers that I will be dealing out SPOILERS. So, I’m putting out a huge SPOILER WARNING right now before you read on.
Anyway, on with the list!
#1 Why do you have to twist the pill?
The basic premise of Project Power is that there’s a pill that will grant the person who ingests it a specific power derived from an animal. So, in truth, it’s not really a superpower and more like inheriting a creature’s abilities. The thing is, you have no idea what kind of power the pill will unlock and you can only use that ability for five minutes before the pill wears off. Oh, and there is a gimmick to the pill in that you can’t just drink it straight up. Apparently, the pill is inert and you have to twist it to kind of activate the contents before you swallow.
That’s fine and all but… why?
I guess it could be explained if the chemicals inside them are volatile or expire quickly when they are combined. Twisting the pill could break some kind of seal and allows the components to mix together to activate it. This is kind of like bending a glowstick to make it light up. However, that doesn’t really seem to be the case as there is a scene where Jamie Foxx’s character kept a pill in his mouth for hours as a backup escape plan to unleash his own power. I don’t think you can actually twist a pill with your tongue… unless you have a very dexterous tongue? That would be a superpower in itself!
Sure, it’s a cool effect and a nice little detail… but I just don’t get the purpose of why you have to do it.
Speaking of getting powers from animals…
#2 Are there really animals that explode, freeze or burst into flames?
As mentioned above, the powers the pills give are actually abilities that animals have. Things like blending into your environment like a chameleon, dislocating bones to become more flexible like a rodent are just a small sample of the animal attributes you can get for those five minutes. You can even grow claws a’la the wolverine frog… which is kind of disappointing because I thought the film referenced the Marvel mutant. Those are really fine animal abilities… but, for the life of me, I can’t think of a creature that explodes into a bloody mess, starts combusting like the Human Torch and… freeze to death?
I know they technically call the latter two abilities “thermal regulation” but, when you become ice or your skin is set aflame, you’re not regulating anything anymore! Okay, so the freezing and burning powers are animal abilities so I can let those pass on a technicality… but what about the exploding? Is that just a side-effect to those people who don’t really get an animal skill? It’s never really explained and, if we do have even a small percentage of people exploding in the streets of New Orleans, it would be kind of big news and not just a rumor tabloid newspapers cover, right?
And since I touched on the topic of what powers the pills can give…
#3 How do you test for healing and resurrection?
There are a plethora of powers explored in Project Power. Some of them are fun, like the ones I mentioned above as well as invulnerability and emit devastating sonic waves, among others. There are also some powers that seem cool at first glance but dumb when you really think about it. An example of this would be the guy who turns invisible because, well, he has to get naked for it to be effective and it’s also very ineffective if you’re carrying things like, say, bags of money and a gun. I mean, all you have to do it aim for the floating item to catch the guy!
There is a power that’s shown there but it’s never really fully explored. When Jamie Foxx’s character gets attacked in the Asian supermarket, he shoots one of the bad guys. But it turns out the guy drank one of the pills and he comes back to life! Now, this could be a healing power such as regenerating limbs but even the creatures that can do that still die if you do enough trauma and, you know, their heart stops working! While that might be this power taken to the extreme, I gotta ask: how do you test for an ability to heal or come back to life?
Okay, healing, I get. But you still have to be willing to hurt yourself, which would mean doing something extreme like stabbing yourself with a fork at the very least. I don’t think anyone, after taking “a pill that grants you powers” given to you by some bad guys will immediately come to the conclusion that they can heal themselves from injury, right? Also, if we take this to the extreme and his power is coming back to life, how the heck do you test for that as well? I mean, you have to literally die in order to test that hypothesis! I can’t see anyone taking that risk!
While we’re on the topic of bad guys…
#4 Is the government aware of the bad guy’s wrongdoings?
Now, the bad guys in Project Power seem to have a lot of pull throughout the movie. They effectively caused a news blackout so the deaths from exploding people aren’t reported on and even the police have been silenced or, at the very least, the top brass has been bought. They also have high-tech surveillance to track down and document every superpowered individual in New Orleans. The baddie’s reach also extend to working with the government as they managed to get Jamie Foxx’s character, a decorated soldier, into early testing of the pill.
So, I’m guess the government is familiar with the pill and what it can do because, I’m assuming, they funded the project, at least at the start. Which leads me to my question: shouldn’t the government be aware of this testing? I mean, they knew about the project because they had it tested on soldiers before, right? So, when there are reports of criminals exhibiting superpowers in the city of New Orleans, they should be able to put two and two together! Also, it seems like the bad guys have their tentacles all over New Orleans and there’s a very slim chance they aren’t aware of what’s happening!
So, it seems like the bad guys, at the very least have the blessing of the government. Yet, they’re also selling the pill to a South American drug cartel… so why would the government allow that when that’ll essentially give foreign power the ability to create a super army. I’m really confused about this point as it’s never really explored nor explained other than baddies doing bad things.
Oh, and while we’re on the topic of the city Project Power is set in…
#5 Why New Orleans?
I will admit, I kind of like the fact Project Power is set in New Orleans. Most action movies, let alone superhero movies, are set in a big city like New York, a sprawling high-end location like Los Angeles and even the countryside like Brightburn. It’s rather refreshing to see a film set in some place like a diverse location such as New Orleans. As refreshing at it is, I really gotta question why the baddies chose to test their power pill in New Orleans.
I can’t really figure out what New Orleans had that ticked off all the bad guys’ checkboxes. In fact, wouldn’t it have been better to test the pill in a more densely populated area like Chicago so they can get more data? If they were afraid to test in a big city, why not one of the more modest sized cities like a location in Connecticut, Arizona or New Jersey? I guess New Orleans is as good a place as any but, of out all the cities in the United States, why there? The only fathomable reason I could think of is the city has a port so they can park their boat and that’s it.
BONUS: What does the final rap song have to do with the girl’s power?
Okay, this is more of a nitpick and it really is the prime example of inconsequential as it doesn’t matter in the least. But one of the minor plot points is the girl who teams up with Jamie Foxx is a really good rapper. They even devote a few scenes to show her skills at freestyle rapping. Her friend (who never is seen throughout the rest of the film, by the way)
At the end of the film, she seemingly gets a record deal as she’s now on the radio. So what now? Sure, it has a good flow and I love the rhythm. That’s not the issue I have. My issue is that her ability to rap really doesn’t have to do with anything throughout the entire film’s runtime! It’s a needless character trait as it doesn’t help her in the least.
Have you seen Netflix’s Project Power? Have any questions after watching the film? Let me know what they are in the comments section below!