PROJECT POWER*CUT TO THE CHASE*
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Jeremy
New Orleans – Sometime in the future, a group of drug dealers gather as a man called Biggie (Rodrigo Santoro) presents them with a new product that he will give to them for free in order to sell. It is a special pill called Power that grants those who take it a random superpower for five minutes. However, not everybody responds to the pill that way, since some have been known to explode seconds after ingesting. Biggie starts with one curious dealer, Newt (Colson Baker), who thinks it’s too good to be true.
Weeks later, Newt’s cousin Robin (Dominique Fishback), an aspiring rapper, is selling Power on the streets. Three goons try to rob her until Detective Frank Shaver (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) comes to her rescue. One of the goons tries to take Power, but Frank stops him and pretends to arrest Robin to make the others leave. In reality, he and Robin are friends since she sells him Power. However, Frank also tries to make sure Robin stays out of trouble. He even gives her a motorcycle as a late birthday gift.
Elsewhere in the city, a man named Arthur “Art” Reilly, AKA “The Major” (Jamie Foxx), goes to an apartment complex to look for Newt and the source of Power. Newt, having been taking too much Power over the last few weeks, is starting to look more and more disfigured. Art makes his way inside and finds Newt’s stash of power, but the dealer reaches for his gun and tries to kill Art, only for Art to shoot the gun away. Newt takes Power and unlocks his ability, which is to have his whole body set ablaze. He goes after Art throughout the complex before taking three more pills to try and take down Art. He ends up getting dunked underwater by Art and only manages to tell him Biggie’s name before Power causes his body to explode. Art manages to get out in time.
Robin’s mother Irene (Andrene Ward-Hammond) wakes her up as she is late to school, where she is struggling with her grades. In class, she texts Newt to get more Power, but Art is responding since he took Newt’s phone. Robin’s teacher calls her out for her lack of attention and asks what she is good at. Her friend says she’s a good rapper and starts to create a beat for Robin to freestyle and make a diss against the teacher, leading the rest of the class to cheer…except this was just a fantasy in Robin’s head, and she goes to the principal’s office instead of giving up her phone.
Frank is called to respond to a bank robbery where a criminal, Griff (Cory DeMeyers), is taking Power to use camouflage abilities to evade notice. Frank takes a Power pill and times himself. He chases after Griff, who almost escapes on a train car before he opens the money bag and is sprayed with powder. Frank chases him into an alley where Griff takes his gun and shoots him in the head, but Frank’s ability is being somewhat invincible, and he takes the criminal down. Unfortunately, Captain Crane (Courtney B Vance) admonishes Frank for using Power, and he orders him to hand in his gun and badge. Before Frank leaves, Crane gives him a picture of Art, as it is believed that he is the source of Power.
Later on, Art goes to look for Robin at a Church’s Chicken where she usually meets Newt. He slashes her bike tire and kidnaps her, throwing her into his trunk. Art takes her to a secluded area to interrogate her over where she and Newt got Power, while also threatening to go after Irene. He shows Robin a picture of a woman and a bald man that are believed to have something to do with Power, but neither of them are Biggie. He gives her a number to call that is supposed to be a warehouse for Power, and she is told to go to a Hong Kong market and ask for alligator wine.
Art and Robin arrive at the market, and she asks for the alligator wine. She meets a man in the back called Cuello (Azhar Khan), who takes Power when she tells him Art is outside. Other henchmen come out to attack Art, but he kills most of them. Cuello shoots Art through the chest, but he keeps moving and manages to incapacitate Cuello. In his pained delusion, he sees Robin as another girl around the same age named Tracy (Kyanna Simone Simpson). He and Robin then discover computers that track all of Power’s users, with Art stating that the makers of Power are testing it out on buyers. A notice appears for a presentation that is set to happen in less than two hours, and a location pops up. Art demands Robin take him there. Meanwhile, Cuello, still on Power, manages to push the bullets out of his body. He rushes to attack Art and Robin in the market, but Art stabs him to death just as the time on his Power runs out. Art starts to sincerely ask Robin for help, and he says all he wants is to find his daughter. Robin then treats Art’s wounds.
Frank finds out something is going on with Robin, so he goes to her house to find Irene being harassed by two cops. He sneaks into the house and pretends to be Irene’s lover, nearly blowing his cover but manages to convince Irene that he’s a friend of Robin’s to get the cops out of their hair.
Art and Robin bond more, with him stating that he used to be a soldier (hence “The Major”), and he learns that she wants to rap, so she spits a few rhymes for him. Before they head out, Robin demands $10,000 from whatever they get. On the way to the presentation, Art says that he was used in experiments for Power by a corporation called Teleios, and Tracy was born with powers without taking the drug, so a Teleios operative kidnapped her, and they are using her blood to create the Power pills. Art’s memory then starts to blend, where he thinks Robin is Tracy and that they are being followed, as they were the day she was taken. Robin manages to snap Art out of his delusion before they crash.
Art and Robin make it to the presentation location, as does Frank since he tracked down users to the location. They sneak in and find Biggie presenting Power to a South American cartel leader, Matriarch (Rose Bianco), by having a woman, Candy (Jazzy De Lisser), be a test subject while her boyfriend Moto (Casey Neistat) watches. Biggie touts the pill as having the abilities of certain animals, specifically the ones that can adapt to survive. Candy has the power to freeze herself and regulate her body temperature. Meanwhile, Frank finds Robin and tries to convince her that Art is behind Power, even though she knows better. Art kills a man and gets closer to Biggie, but he is found out, and Matriarch attempts to leave with the pills as Art holds Biggie at gunpoint. A firefight ensues between Biggie’s men and the cartel. Candy is trapped in the demonstration chamber and is frozen to death. Art gets Biggie alone and shoots off three of his fingers before he tells Art that Gardner and her henchman Wallace (Tait Fletcher), who took Tracy, will be on a boat called “Genesis”. Frank attempts to arrest Art until they realize they’re both working with Robin, just as Biggie takes Power to turn into a hulking big monster. The heroes escape the facility as Biggie chases them, but Art opens some gas canisters and shoots at Biggie, causing an explosion that kills him.
Frank arrests Art, but Art tells him about Tracy and says that Crane is taking orders from Teleios. After Art lets himself get taken by Teleios to get onto the Genesis, Frank gets himself in by tough-talking the guard, only for the guard to shoot him, not realizing Frank took Power to become invincible again, so he is able to get back up and sneak onto the boat. Art comes face-to-face with Teleios CEO Dr. Gardner (Amy Landecker), who was there experimenting on him from the beginning. Frank and Robin get inside and face off against a guard who Powered himself to make his limbs rubbery, but Frank traps him in a door that will eventually sever his arm. Wallace goes after them and uses Power to gain super strength. Art convinces a guard to let him go when he sees that Art has a Power pill in his mouth as a last resort. Wallace finds Art, but he gets blasted twice with a shotgun before Frank gets Art. Robin then finds Tracy and frees her. They fight another guard who uses Power to make his bones protrude to use as weapons, but Art just manages to impale him with it. He reunites with Tracy before they make their escape.
As the four try to get off the boat, Gardner comes out and demands that Art surrender with Tracy, or she will kill Robin. Art goes out to confront Gardner, but he takes the Power pill and gains the ability of a pistol shrimp, allowing him to create whips that kill the henchmen and drop a crane on top of Gardner. Art almost dies, but Tracy uses her abilities to revive him. The four are finally able to leave.
Frank brings Robin home and plans to expose Teleios and Power. Art parts ways with Robin as he leaves with Tracy. Robin returns to her mother with her share of cash. Art and Tracy drive away together over a bridge, finally free.
In New Orleans, a drug called Power grants most users a random superpower for five minutes. Teenager Robin deals Power but is protected by Officer Frank Shaver, who uses the drug to gain invincibility. Robin is taken by a man named Art Reilly, a former soldier who was experimented on by Teleios, the makers of Power. They have also kidnapped his daughter Tracy, since she was born with superpowers after his experiments, and her blood is the source of Power.
Art and Robin eventually team up with Frank after they kill Biggie, the pill's distributor. They make it to a boat, Genesis, where Teleios CEO Dr. Gardner is keeping Tracy. After killing Gardner's henchmen, she attempts to kill Robin unless Art gives up Tracy, but he uses Power to possess the power of a pistol shrimp, which allows him to create powerful waves of energy that kill Gardner and her men. He almost dies, but Tracy revives him.
Art and Tracy leave together, while Robin returns to her mother and Frank plans to expose Teleios and Power.