This is a slick, suspenseful, big screen-style action film that seems primed for a franchise. The superpower storyline allows for a parade of visually explosive effects, and the tale's compelling characters with real-world problems add appeal.
Embedded in these characters, in turn, are broader themes about the obstacles that Black people -- and especially young Black women -- face in America. Two young Black female characters ultimately save the day, and Project Power references Henrietta Lacks, the Black woman whose cells were involuntarily harvested and used in medical research for decades.
Despite more than a few implausible sequences, Fishback is very credible as Robin, playing the teen as tough and brave, yet profoundly vulnerable and nearly defeated. She's the real discovery in this film, though Foxx is solid as the flawed hero and Gordon-Levitt adds humor, including a funny running joke of him practicing his "tough guy" lines, Clint Eastwood-style, in the mirror.
The setting is another character: New Orleans is treated as a bit of an underdog that needs standing up for, its past devastating floods earning repeated mention. "You know what happened last time we were counting on guys in suits to look out for New Orleans," Frank quips at one point. He's not wrong.
Read the full review at Common Sense Media.