Warning: spoilers for the end of Netflix’s Project Power are in play. If you don’t want to know what happens, then head out of this write up and come back once you’ve experienced Power for yourself.
Superheroes are either born with their powers, or received them through some sort of mishap and/or accident. Usually a random occurrence, those heroes are defined by those powers, and even named after them in some cases. But in Netflix’s Project Power, if you’ve got the pill the film’s named after, and about five minutes, it’ll give you the world. It’s those implications, and the events of Project Power’s ending, that still have us thinking after the superpowered climax of Jamie Foxx, Dominique Fishback, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s streaming blockbuster from this past weekend.
Naturally, with questions come answers, and after breaking down the final act of Project Power, we think we’ve got it figured out. Those solutions to the problems we puzzled out in our minds also point towards the potential future, which could see Project Power kicking off a very unique franchise. Let’s start ourselves off with a discussion about Jamie Foxx’s Art and his mysterious superpower.
Breaking Down Art's Abilities From Project Power
As the source for Project Power’s super drug, Art was a military officer who helped pave the way for Power’s development by the Department of Defense and contractor/shadowy corporation Teleios. Swearing off the drug once he returned to civilian life, we don’t see him pop a pill throughout almost the entire film. But when his quest to save his kidnapped daughter Tracy (Kyanna Simone Simpson) pushes him to the brink, Art has no other option to take a dose of Power and unleash the power of the pistol shrimp!
That’s right, with the killing power of what Art claims to be the most powerful animal on the planet, he dissolves bullets, weapons, and people with waves of vaporizing ultrahigh decibel sound waves. Art can even physically manipulate those waves, sending people and objects flying through the air, and changing them from a solid to a liquid state of matter. With pistol shrimps being able to heat the air around them to roughly 8,000 degrees Fahrenheit (or 4426.7 degrees Celcius,) just amplify that ability to a human’s size, and you can see why Art can make such an impressively devastating killing. But how do you put that in a pill?
How The Powers From Project Power Are Generated
The basic concept behind Power is that the good folks at Teleios took some Army Rangers, including Art, and experimented with the effect of radiation on their genetic code. While it’s not explicitly stated, Project Power’s miracle pill sounds like a genetic skeleton key that bridges human DNA with that of a pistol shrimp, a little lizard, or whatever creature you wanted to harness the special ability of. Three gigantic catches accompany these seemingly infinite powers at the heart of Project Power.
First, you never know what your power is until you dose up; further pushing along the skeleton key theory. Whatever your DNA connects to in Power’s biochemical cocktail, that’s your jam. Second, Power only lasts for five minutes – no more or less. The formula of the pill is unstable at the time being, though Teleios is hoping to change that, as they’re aiming for a future release of Power that could last forever. The third, and most important advisory, is that since the human body is sensitive, there’s a chance that your first hit could be your last. People can still overdose on power, as seen when Art interrogated Newt (Machine Gun Kelly) towards the beginning of the movie.
What Happens During Project Power's Action Packed Climax
By time we get to the final showdown in Project Power, a lot has happened up to that particular point. Art and New Orleans cop Frank (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) are making their way around the Genesis, a laboratory ship where Teleios has been keeping Tracy captive. Using her DNA and their labs, they manufacture Power in house, ready for distribution to the dealers on the street. With Robin (Dominique Fishback) tagging along as a lookout at first, she eventually finds where Tracy is being hidden, and helps her escape to a lifeboat with Frank.
Robin, however, is eventually captured by Gardner (Amy Landecker), the woman in charge of Project Power’s experiments. A figure from Art’s past, Gardner had Tracy abducted from him the moment it was discovered that she had inherited some unique genetic gifts. Now, with his daughter safe, Art has to risk it all to rescue Robin, who has helped him throughout his journey. Though it almost killed him the last time he took it, Art pops a Power, and goes full pistol shrimp on his enemies.
Killing everyone but Robin on the deck of the ship, Art temporarily dies because of using his Project Power abilities. But as Tracy’s ability is to heal organic lifeforms, she uses quite a bit of power and resurrects her father. We then see our heroes escape the Genesis through a lifeboat, and later see the ship being discovered by several other boats; more than likely a cleanup crew from Teleios.
What's Next For Project Power
At the very end of Project Power, we see a somewhat happy ending. Art and Tracy escape and go back on the road, Robin becomes a rapper and takes home a hefty chunk of money to provide for herself and her mother, and Frank is ready to play the whistleblower and expose the connections between Teleios and the New Orleans Police Department. It looks like the fight is over, and for the moment that’s true. But there’s a lot of potential for what could happen in a Project Power sequel.
With Teleios going from city to city, testing their wares as a hot street drug, and pulling up stakes when the time is right, their operation is a fast but effective one. If it wasn’t for Art, Robin, and Frank bringing the fight to the enemy at the end of Project Power, things may have kept going on that way for some time. Now, this big pharma menace is going to have to figure out a way to stomp out their would-be foes, and our heroes will have to figure out how to stop Teleios once and for all.
That’s what lies past the end of Project Power, should Netflix ask for a sequel to directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman’s small scale epic of family, superpowers, and pistol shrimp! You can see the film for yourself, as it’s now available on Netflix; and feel free to vote on whether you’d like to see a sequel or not in the poll below.
CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.
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