Starring: Jamie Foxx, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Dominique Fishback, Machine Gun Kelly, Rodrigo Santoro, Amy Landecker, Allen Maldonado
OUR RATING: ★★★☆☆
Netflix’s sci-fi action thriller directed by Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost. When a pill that gives its users unpredictable temporary superpowers hits the streets of New Orleans, and it escalates crime within the city to dangerous levels, a local cop (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) teams with a teenage dealer, Robin (Dominique Fishback), and a former soldier (Jamie Foxx) fueled by a secret vendetta, to fight power with power and risk taking the pill in order to track down and stop the group responsible for creating it.
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Our Favorite Quotes:'In the real world, the power goes to where it always goes, to the people that already have it.' - Art (Project Power) Click To Tweet 'Sometimes, the plan just walk right up on you.' - Art (Project Power) Click To Tweet
Biggie: Welcome, my young entrepreneurs. They say there are no shortcuts in life. They say nothing is free. But I’m telling you right now, the deal I’m going to give you is the closest thing to free you’ll ever get. You all heard the rumors. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here. Now’s your chance to see it up close.
Biggie: I give you the product for free. You sell it.
Newt: Sounds too good to be true.
Biggie: That’s because it is. We’ll only be in New Orleans for a little while, so get out there and sell.
Newt: What’s it called?
Biggie: You ask a lot of questions.
Newt: Yeah, I’m Newt.
Biggie: Newt. This is Power.
Robin: [rapping] Power, power, speak a little louder. If you got the time, I bet you I could spit for hours. Will be something so ugly, but I’m pretty as a flower. Hungry for that money, I’m coming to devour. Shower, dropping heavy bars, up off a tower. Know I got that game. My people call me Dwight Howard. I’m that kid, this Black kid, no cowards. Spit it so they get it. I’m embedded with the power. I’m embedded with the power.
[as Frank saves Robin from being robbed by customers wanting Power]
Frank: Are you sure you want to do that, young man? You ever taken one of those before? You haven’t, have you? I can tell. Now, I bet you’ve heard it can make you fast, make you strong. Make this a fair fight, even though I got a gun pointed at your face.
Miggs: Just twist it, Tommy.
[Tommy twists the pill and is about to take it]
Frank: But that’s only if you happen to have a good Power. Not everybody does. Some people take it and just blow up.
Frank: So the question is, what’s your power? Might be good. Might be bad. Nobody knows.
Miggs: Take the pill, Tommy.
Frank: Take it. Go ahead. I want to see what happens.
[as Tommy is about to take Frank snatches it out of his hand]
Frank: You boys are lucky I only have one pair of cuffs. I’d bring you all in.
[after the boys that were about to rob her leave]
Robin: So what, you practice that in the mirror? Yeah, you did. I bet you had your gun out too. Pointed at yourself, talking all hard like you Clint Eastwood.
Frank: You don’t know me.
Robin: Yeah, I do.
Frank: What do you know about Clint Eastwood?
Robin: I know enough.
Frank: What you seen him in?
Robin: The Bridges of Madison County.
Frank: That’s actually a pretty good one.
Robin: By the way, it’s five hundred for that pill in your pocket.
Frank: Is it the same stuff as last time?
Robin: Yeah, what else is it going to be?
Frank: I don’t know. Did you get it from the same guy as last time?
Robin: Come on, you either going to be a cop or a customer.
Frank: It’s not that simple. Bad guys using this stuff to take out whole precincts of cops single-handed. I’m just trying to level the playing field.
[after art tracks down Newt at his apartment]
Newt: You alone?
Art: Aren’t we all?
Art: Newt, I don’t want to hurt you. I don’t want to hurt nobody. I just need some information, that’s all. Tell me where you’re getting this stuff, and I’ll get out of here. You don’t want to talk? All you got to do is tell me who your supplier is. So what you think about that, Newt, huh? We got a deal?
[we see Newt takes a Power pill]
Art: Once I get that information, you can slither back to whatever hole that you came out of, understand?
[he cocks gun]
Art: Listen to my voice. Am I lying?
[as Robin is texting in class]
Teacher: So since you don’t seem to be worried about your grades or graduating, you must have a plan, right? So what is that plan, Miss Reilly?
Robin’s Classmate: Rap. She’ll rap.
Teacher: I see. Well, then, why don’t you get up and rap for us? Make me believe that you’ve got a shot, and I’ll give you a C for the year.
[Robin starts rapping at her teacher]
Robin: Now what’s the difference between a student and a teacher? While one of them is growing up, the other’s getting weaker. Is the criteria for you to be a creeper? Stalking the halls in squeaky little shoes. Get you some sneakers. Get new kicks, get a clue, get a hint. Get a friend, get a life. Get a wife, get a mint. And your teeth been looking yellow. Get an off-white tint. Never honor roll, but I’m on a roll like lint. Yeah, I see I’m digging at your pride. You thought that you could hide. That the system is a lie. Wasn’t built for me to thrive. It don’t love nobody like me. Diplomas won’t determine who I am or who I might be.
[to the teacher]
Robin: So next time you tempted to pick on me for a laugh, skip theatrics and just tell me I can get up out your class, b**ch
[the students cheer, but then we see that Robin was just imagining it all]
Frank: Sir, what did you see in there?
Armored Truck Guard: I don’t know. I didn’t see him. He came out of nowhere. It’s like I was hit by a ghost.
Landry: By a ghost?
[after Frank stops a Power-enhanced bank robber by taking Power himself and is suspended]
Frank: If I hadn’t taken that, I’d be dead. Is that what you want?
Captain Craine: I want my police force to obey the law!
Frank: There are no laws on this drug! They don’t exist officially! Because every time we try to deal with it, some guys in suits show up and tell us to stop.
Frank: [to Craine] Look, I don’t know who those two were that came in today, and cut you off at the knees. I don’t know if they’re feds, or military, or what, but clearly, they have you under their thumb. And I don’t think you like it. Because they don’t care about the people of this city. Not like you do. Not like I do. And we know what happened last time we were counting on guys in suits to look out for New Orleans. Now, you need to make me the bad guy, that’s fine. But I’d be willing to bet you know more than you’re allowed to say. Maybe we can work together on this, unofficially. And maybe we can do some good. And isn’t that our job?
[Craine gives Frank a newspaper photo of Art]
Captain Craine: Anybody finds you with that, you didn’t get it from me. I’m told he’s the source of Power. We shut him down, we get our city back.
Frank: Who is he?
Captain Craine: He’s your get out of jail free card.
Church’s Chicken Server: You okay, honey? You need anything else?
Art: No, I’m fine.
Church’s Chicken Server: Hmm. Yes, you are.
[after Art abducts Robin to find the source of Power]
Art: I said get out!
Art: So you can advance your position in life.
Art: [to Robin] I know you’re scared. I know you’re feeling like fight or flight, but I’m going to tell you right now, you just breathe and get through it. Because listen, you don’t know who I am, and what I’m about, but I’ve got to find that source. I need to get to the top of the food chain. But you keep messing around with me, and acting like you don’t know s**t, I’m going to knock your a** out, and then I’m going to go kill your mother. I’m going to kill Irene. Look me in my eyes. Am I lying? So tell me your decision.
Biggie: Welcome. I see you packed light. I was expecting duffel bags.
Matriarch: The money is here, if the product lives up to its reputation.
Biggie: Product? It is not just a product. These pills will topple governments. You’re about to become the most powerful woman in South America.
Matriarch: In that case, I look forward to your demonstration.
[after Art forces Robin to take him to the drug dealers safehouse]
Art: You’re going to go meet whoever’s in there. You’re going to tell them what we talked about. You’re going to tell them that you saw me, and that I left. And if they ask…
Robin: No. No, you said point you in the direction. That’s the direction.
Art: You ever hear of a mine rat?
Robin: It sound like a rat that get blown up.
Art: Well, that’s what you are. You’re my mine rat.
Robin: Look, I was just trying to make ends meet. I’m just a kid.
Art: I know what you trying to do! You out here in these streets dealing. You ain’t no damn kid. You gave that up. You can’t keep playing that whole “I’m just a child” card, okay? Let’s make it happen.
Robin: Yes, sir.
[referring to info on the computer screen]
Robin: What’s that?
Art: They’re logging Powers. There’s chips in every capsule. The government won’t let them test it, so they test it on us. The people that you’re selling to, they’re the lab rats.
Robin: What’s all that?
Art: It’s a demonstration for potential buyers. It means they’re done with New Orleans.
It means I’m running out of time.
[as she’s stitching up Art’s wounds at the vet’s office]
Art: Wait, wait, wait.
Art: Y’all work on humans
[as she goes to treat his wound, Art flinches]
Robin: I didn’t even do nothing yet.
[after Frank arrives to find Teleios men interrogating Robin’s mother and pretends he lives there]
Teleios Guard: I thought you said you lived here.
Frank: Yes, I do, sir. Is that so hard to believe? Why? Is it because I’m white? Are you assuming that me and this beautiful Black woman wouldn’t be able to share a happy home? You want to say that on camera? Babe, where’s your phone?
Irene: Got it.
[Irene hands him her phone]
Frank: Alright. Well, let’s just see about this. And we are live streaming. Now, let’s just get this on record.
Art: So what’s your power?
Robin: I don’t even know.
Art: Oh, come on. You ain’t tried it?
Robin: Honestly, I saw a girl OD. You know, on the streets, they’re talking about how it’ll give you superpowers, but they’re not about how one hit could kill you.
Art: Well, if you’re so spooked, why you still in the game? What happened to getting good grades and staying in school?
Robin: Yoh, I wish I could get good grades. Go to school, get to college, and get some fancy-a** job. But I need money now.
Art: Everybody need money now.
[referring to her mother]
Robin: And she needs surgery, the expensive kind, so what else am I supposed to do?
Art: Oh, that’s easy.
Art: Go to the Army.
Robin: So what, it don’t trip you up killing fools?
Art: Yeah, it tripped me up. But that was my skillset. And what did the system do? It took advantage of me. But I know now I got to work the system harder than it’s working me. That’s what you got to do.
Art: You’re young. You’re Black. You’re a woman. The system is designed to swallow you whole. You got to find out what you do better than anybody else and rock that. So what you going to do? Hmm? How you going to leave your mark?
Robin: I rap.
Art: [laughs] Oh. I’m sorry. Well, what’s your rap name then, huh? What you going to be, the next Cardi B? Huh? Cardi C?
Art: You say you rap, let me hear one line. Huh? You can’t spit one line?
Robin: I don’t like doing it in front of people.
Art: How are you going to to be a rapper if you got stage fright? You know what I think? Most time, people don’t want to do something is because they’re probably just wack at it. If you’re wack, just say you wack.
Robin: Fine, give me a word.
Art: Give you a word? What you talking about?
Robin: I’m going to go off the top, give me a word.
Art: Oh, you that good, huh?
[after displaying her rapping skills for Art]
Art: Ooh. You smoked that. Alright. You’re good. Damn good. That’s your power. You take that, you leverage that, and you use your power to take the system down.
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