Cast: Jamie Foxx, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Dominique Fishback
Director: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman
The current Coronavirus pandemic may have devastated big screens and hundreds of businesses. But it has given a new meaning to, a new interest in watching films at home. Most of us know this, and have found comfort in our living rooms. These have been widely written about, but what many of us, maybe most of us, have not realised or thought about is how mankind’s callousness towards Nature has led to innumerable to disasters. The horrific landslide and floods at Kedarnath a few years ago were – admit it or not – the result of illegal constructions on our hills and thirst for money, and more money. This human greed is spelt out most lucidly by the character played by the late Sushant Singh Rajput.
Directors Henry Joost’s and Arial Schulman’s latest superman movie, Project Power, is all about tinkering with Nature for a humungous amount of profit. However, if one were to look beyond the thrill and action, one can clearly discern the profound sociological message embedded in the script written by Mattson Tomlin, and acted out by a magnificent team.
The plot is set in New Orleans, and a shady Government defence contractor, a scientist who has the least concern for human life, has developed a pill — a DNA based concentrate created out of the evolutionary characteristics of multiple species. The man who swallows it gets super natural powers like bulletproof skin, bones that bend, invisibility, etc. The catch, however, is that the power of the pill lasts a mere five minutes, and in some cases can cause death.
Robin (Dominique Fishback) is a school kid, who becomes a dealer, because she needs money to have her sick mother treated. Frank Shaver (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a detective who adores New Orleans and wants to save it from inhuman businessmen out to destroy it. Art (Jamie Foxx), is a disgruntled army officer, who also wants to break the demand-supply chain, and he has a personal reason for wanting this. He is searching for his daughter, who may have acquired the genetic modifications needed to become superhuman.
The trio keeps the film moving seamlessly, but the exchanges between Art and Robin are deeply touching, and their performances are brilliant. Gordon-Levitt exudes an easy charm and is willing to be on the other side of the law by popping one of those magic pills. This is the only way, he feels, he can tame those rogues.
Unfortunately, the villains appear uni-dimensional; they have not been written with adequate care. And the movie may appear rather unoriginal. After all, there have been others with more or less similar themes. We have even had comic books on such super natural phenomena.