Project Power reveals that a supporting character named Tracy (Kyanna Simone Simpson) has natural superpowers — so where did they come from? Directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, the Netflix movie’s storyline primarily focuses on Tracy’s father, Art (Jamie Foxx), who investigates both a New Orleans street drug named Power and Tracy’s disappearance. The second and third acts explain why Tracy has supernatural abilities and how they can be used to change the world.
In Project Power, the street cred of a teenage drug dealer (Dominique Fishback as Robin) allows Art to infiltrate the local underworld. He tracks down people who receive five minutes of supernatural strength after consuming Power, and ultimately comes face to face with one of the drug’s creators, Biggie (Rodrigo Santoro). From there, Art connects the dots and tries to understand the bigger picture. During an expositional sequence, he tells Robin about his strange background: Years prior, Art was a U.S. Army Ranger who acquired superhero-like powers after being used as a lab rat by the company Teleios. Project Power doesn’t initially explain Art’s full backstory and motivations, yet it’s clear that his past has something to do with Tracy’s disappearance.
The Project Power filmmakers use Fetal Alcohol Syndrome as way to explain Tracy’s power potential. In this case, she wasn’t negatively affected by Art’s experiences with Teleios, but rather gained natural powers from her father. Teleois scientist Gardner (Amy Landecker) compares Tracy to Henrietta Lacks, a real-life African-American woman whose cancer cells led to significant medical breakthroughs in 1951 and beyond. In Project Power, Tracy knows that she’s indeed a special individual — certainly after being locked up by Teleois — but she hasn’t quite learned how to fully use her powers. The final act builds up to a major reveal.
Robin locates Tracy aboard the ship Genesis in Project Power’s third and final act. Meanwhile, Art manages to infiltrate the vessel and keeps a Power pill hidden his his mouth. New Orleans cop Frank Shaver (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) also lends assistance, as he’s one of Robin’s clients and has bulletproof powers, but also wants to clean up his city. Tracy’s true powers are foreshadowed when she walks by a dying plant and brings it back to life. Project Power doesn’t explain Tracy’s long-term potential, but does indeed provide audiences with the basics: she’s symbolic of the future, it seems, and her plant revival sets up a climactic moment that links to her father’s powers.
Project Power progressively builds to the revelation that Art has pistol shrimp powers: Teleois baddies explain throughout the film that humans can tap into animalistic DNA traits via Power, and Art’s supernatural abilities compare to the pistol shrimp’s ability to snap its claw underwater so fast that it creates a potentially-lethal thermal bubble. Project Power ends with Art consuming his pill and essentially destroying Teleois with a thermal bubble, almost killing himself in the process. Tracy saves the day, however, by holding her father tight and bringing him back to life. In Project Power 2, perhaps the filmmakers will offer more details about Art’s past and Tracy’s potential
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