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.
[referring to the antibiotic pills] Robin: Well, where are you going now? [as she dangles his car keys in her hands] [referring to Teleios] Robin: So, what’s your power? I know you took it. Robin: What’s the plan now? Robin: I thought we were like Batman and Robin. [Art finds Biggie hosting a private demonstration of Project Power for Matriarch] Biggie: Evolution has given animals countless abilities we can only dream of. So much power, por favor. All the genetic potential hidden in our DNA just waiting to be released. But with your investment, one day, a pill that lasts forever. Stop wishing. Start doing. Find your power. [referring to Art, after finding Robin] Frank: Look, I’m sorry that you miss your dad, but this guy is telling you a story. [to Art after Frank intervenes Art’s interrogation of Biggie] [after Biggie is killed in the explosion caused by Art and Frank arrests him] Robin: Come on. Art, tell him what you told me. Art: You’re making a big mistake. Art: Listen, it ain’t too late for you to walk away. [after revealing to Frank that Crane is taking orders from Teleios] Frank: What are they doing here? Frank: What do you need? [after Art purposely has himself captured by Teleios and taken to Genesis] [as Frank is approaching the gate guards] [as the guard isn’t allowing Frank to come through to the ship Genesis] Gardner: Tracy’s lab results are fascinating. We’re talking about permanent power, the next step in human evolution. All of our greatest advancements began in darkness, Major. It’s up to the pioneers to light the way. [as Robin finds Frank on the ship] Frank: I’m going after Art. You get in any trouble, you run. You meet me at the front of the ship. If I can get there, I will. If I can’t, then you keep running. [as Frank is going after Art inside the ship] [as Robin is warning Frank through the ship’s loud speakers] Art: [to the guard] Let me ask you something, big man. What’s the most powerful animal on the planet? [after Robin finds Tracy and reunites her with Art] [after Robin is captured by Gardner] Art: Let me tell you something, Robin. You did a great job. You saved my daughter’s life! [after they all escape the ship] Frank: Let me ask you something. You think this is really over? Art: It’s time to jet. And, you. Go to my truck. Make sure you check the trunk. You remember what I said? Frank: Here.
Art: And what’s this?
Robin: You got to take four of them.
Art: This says for dogs.
Robin: Yeah, well, you a big dog.
Art: Remember that guy in the picture?
Art: I got to find him. He took something from me. I got to get it back.
Robin: Something or someone?
Robin: I could navigate for you. You’re going to where the dots on the screen is. I can take you there. For ten grand.
Art: Why the hell would I pay you ten thousand dollars for anything?
Robin: Medical expenses. Keeping your a** alive. Kidnapping fee.
Art: Give me those keys.
Robin: I’d say I done you a lot of solids here.
Art: They were the ones who cracked the codes back in the day. Grabbed a bunch of Rangers, put them all in the room, filled them up with radiation. Messed with their genes. Tried to turn us into superheroes.
Robin: Why did they want to make superheroes?
Art: They didn’t. Not really. Because in the real world, the power goes to where it always goes, to the people that already have it.
Art: I tried it once. Damn near killed me. Hurt a lot of people. So I said I’m not trying that s**t no more. A few years later, Tracy came along. I knew she was different though. When she was young, she never got sick, or anything like that. As she got older, she got stronger. She exhibited symptoms of powers. But she never had to take a pill.
Robin: Fetal alcohol syndrome. If you got like beaucoup s**t in your system, maybe it got passed down to her.
Art: Oh, okay. Yeah, you hood, but you smart, huh? Anyway, when Teleios caught wind of Tracy, they wanted to experiment on her like they did on me. And that’s when we just took off.
Art: You know what? Sometimes, the plan just walk right up on you.
Art: We’re no Batman and Robin. That’s a movie. This is real life.
Robin: Man, I got your blood on me. We’re doing this.
Art: Listen. You just hang here and wait till I get back, alright?
Biggie: Welcome to Project Power. Over the last months, we’ve been going from city to city in a kind of, let’s call them clinical trials. Our footprint is small, and we move on quickly to avoid unwanted oversight. Our goal is simple. The next evolution of the human species. That’s where you come in. With your financing, Teleios could become the most powerful company in the world. What’s in it for you? It’s in the headline. Power. Power to level the playing field. Or, if you like, destroy it entirely. Power to create chaos. Power to renegotiate your reality. One day, you won’t even need a pill.
Frank: Why are you protecting. This is a bad guy!
Robin: Why is he a bad guy? Because he’s done some bad things? What about you? You do bad things too!
Frank: That is almost a good point, but the bad things that I have done…
Robin: He’s just looking for his daughter. Everything he’s doing, he’s doing it for her. That sound like a bad guy to you?
Frank: That’s what he told you?
Robin: That’s what I know.
Robin: No, Frank. Don’t do me like that.
Frank: He’s not here looking for his daughter. He’s setting up shop.
Robin: So you think he’s the source of Power?
Robin: Well, he’s not. He’s trying to stop it.
Frank: Uh-huh. Okay. If that’s true, and by the way, I don’t think it is, but if it is, then he should be helping me. And if it’s not true, then he’s lying to you, and he’s dangerous, and I need to bring him in. Either way, you should tell me where he is.
Frank: Robin told me to tell you something. She said every moment comes with invisible decisions. She told me to tell you about mine rats and seismographs! Man it was long. It was about decisions, but in the end she said, “Am I lying?”
Robin: Come on, Frank. We got to help him.
Frank: You already did help him. You brought him here. Are you not paying attention? He’s using you.
Robin: What, and you don’t? At least he’s being honest about it!
Art: Go home.
Robin: No, come on. Please, you can’t give up.
Art: I said, go home.
Robin: You cannot give up!
Art: Do I look like your daddy or something?
Frank: Uh-huh. Let me guess, you’re one of the good drug dealers, right? You’re trying to save the world.
Art: They have my daughter. That is my world.
Frank: I don’t know, man. You’re the one in handcuffs, and I’m literally in the driver’s seat. So what am I missing?
Art: What you’re missing is, in the next thirty seconds, your captain is going to call you and tell you to take me to a different place, not the precinct. But we’re never going to make it to that place.
Art: This what’s going to happen. They’re going to kill you, and then they’re going to take me. Now, I’m okay with that second part of this, if it gets me to my daughter sooner.
Art: Doing field testing. If they can stabilize it, then they’ll mass produce it. So whatever’s happening here is going to start happening everywhere.
Frank: And what, your kid has something to do with it?
Art: Where do you think they got the formula from?
Art: This ain’t your fight.
Frank: It’s my city. They think they can just test their s**t on the people of New Orleans, and no one’s going to care? No one’s going to fight them on it? Well, let them see what happens. What do you need?
Art: You still got them pills on you?
Robin: They got Art.
Frank: Yeah, I know.
Robin: So what, you let them take him?
Frank: No, it was his plan. It’s the only way he can get to his daughter. Now I got to bust in after him.
Robin: So what are we going to do about it?
[gives Robin an ear piece]
Frank: Alright, you want to help? You stay here. Put this in your ear and you tell me about what’s coming and what’s going. Take it. You’re the lookout. It’s an important role.
Robin: I think you should do the Clint Eastwood thing.
Frank: I’m not doing the Clint Eastwood thing.
Robin: I think maybe you got to go with the Clint Eastwood thing. Do it. Come on, like you practiced in the mirror.
Frank: Well, I guess you just got to ask yourself one question. Am I going to be the guy that makes a bad decision to send the bag man home empty handed, make the boss get out of bed, start raining hellfire on whoever is responsible? Or am I going to be the guy who makes a good decision and get the hell out of the goddamn way, so we can all get home in time to watch the Saints highlights?
Robin: Yeah, Frank!
Frank: So what’s it going to be punk?
Gate Guard: I’m the punk?
Frank: Oh, did I stutter?
Gate Guard: Wait here.
Art: Well, you see, that’s the thing, Doc. You’re not a pioneer. You’re a drug dealer. How about you take your science project, and you shove it up your mother…
[Wallace give him an electric shock with taser]
Frank: No, you’re supposed to be the lookout.
Robin: Well, you got shot.
Frank: Yeah, I know.
Robin: So what, you’re bulletproof?
Frank: It’s cool, right?
Robin: Yeah, but there’s like a thousand guards out there.
Frank: But you know I’m awesome, right?
[she gives him back his ear piece]
Robin: Well, go be awesome then. It’s about to get real noisy.
Frank: Can you hear me, Robin?
Robin: Hearing and seeing.
Frank: Hatch eighteen.
[Robin presses the button to open the door]
Frank: Merci buckets.
Robin: I got you.
Art: Y’all hear that? That’s the sound of the most advanced tactical team in the world taking over your ship.
Robin: Frank, punch him in the nuts or something. Come on, Frank. It’s time to be awesome.
Wallace Guard: Shut up.
Art: Some people think it’s the lion because, you know, they’re big, but it’s actually the pistol shrimp. Little bitty guy, look harmless, but hit you so fast, it vaporizes the water around it. Eight thousand degrees hotter than the surface of the sun. But the shock waves, rips the flesh right off the bone. And when it’s all over, it’s just Mr. Shrimp, sitting there, eating anything that’s left.
Wallace Guard: Yeah, so?
Art: So, we get all these powers from animals, right? Guess what animal I got?
[opens his mouth to reveal a Power pill between his teeth]
Art: How much time we got left?
Frank: Less than five, more than zero. You still got your pill?
Art: Yeah, I’m saving that one.
Frank: Saving it for what?
Art: Last resort.
Gardner: I will kill her, Arthur, right now, right in front of you.
Art: [to Tracy] I love you more than anything in the world, you hear me? I love you, but there’s no way we’re leaving her behind.
Gardner: All of you out of the boat, now!
Art: Look, if anything goes wrong, you drop this boat down and get out of here, okay?
Art: I’m going to end this.
Now you listen up, Doc. You got one chance. You let her go, I let you live.
Gardner: This isn’t a negotiation.
Art: No. It’s something else. I told you what was going to happen, didn’t I? Now you tell me, am I lying?
[Art takes Power, uses his abilities to kill Gardner and her men, costing his own life, after which Tracy uses her powers to resurrect him]
Art: So what’s next for you?
Frank: Well, first I think I’ll have a long talk with my captain, then maybe find a journalist looking for their next big story.
Art: You blow that whistle, ain’t no going back.
Frank: Yeah. Well, let’s see these a**holes try to hide when everyone knows what they’re doing.
Art: For me, it is.
[they shake hands]
[he embraces Robin]
Art: There’s something great inside you, Robin. Use it.
[hands Robin a phone]
Robin: What’s this?
Frank: What’s it look like?
Robin: Frank, why you got my mama’s phone, man?
Frank: It’s a long story.
Robin: Seriously. Frank!
[referring to the antibiotic pills]
Robin: Well, where are you going now?
[as she dangles his car keys in her hands]
[referring to Teleios]
Robin: So, what’s your power? I know you took it.
Robin: What’s the plan now?
Robin: I thought we were like Batman and Robin.
[Art finds Biggie hosting a private demonstration of Project Power for Matriarch]
Biggie: Evolution has given animals countless abilities we can only dream of. So much power, por favor. All the genetic potential hidden in our DNA just waiting to be released. But with your investment, one day, a pill that lasts forever. Stop wishing. Start doing. Find your power.
[referring to Art, after finding Robin]
Frank: Look, I’m sorry that you miss your dad, but this guy is telling you a story.
[to Art after Frank intervenes Art’s interrogation of Biggie]
[after Biggie is killed in the explosion caused by Art and Frank arrests him]
Robin: Come on. Art, tell him what you told me.
Art: You’re making a big mistake.
Art: Listen, it ain’t too late for you to walk away.
[after revealing to Frank that Crane is taking orders from Teleios]
Frank: What are they doing here?
Frank: What do you need?
[after Art purposely has himself captured by Teleios and taken to Genesis]
[as Frank is approaching the gate guards]
[as the guard isn’t allowing Frank to come through to the ship Genesis]
Gardner: Tracy’s lab results are fascinating. We’re talking about permanent power, the next step in human evolution. All of our greatest advancements began in darkness, Major. It’s up to the pioneers to light the way.
[as Robin finds Frank on the ship]
Frank: I’m going after Art. You get in any trouble, you run. You meet me at the front of the ship. If I can get there, I will. If I can’t, then you keep running.
[as Frank is going after Art inside the ship]
[as Robin is warning Frank through the ship’s loud speakers]
Art: [to the guard] Let me ask you something, big man. What’s the most powerful animal on the planet?
[after Robin finds Tracy and reunites her with Art]
[after Robin is captured by Gardner]
Art: Let me tell you something, Robin. You did a great job. You saved my daughter’s life!
[after they all escape the ship]
Frank: Let me ask you something. You think this is really over?
Art: It’s time to jet. And, you. Go to my truck. Make sure you check the trunk. You remember what I said?
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