By: Movie Snurb (Two Beers) –
Imperial Dreams is the latest of films to be purchased by Netflix for distribution. Netflix and Amazon are beginning to show that they will become major players in the film industry. Imperial Dreams definitely helps Netflix’s case. The film follows 21-year-old Bambi (John Boyega – Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens) as he is recently released from prison for assault with a deadly weapon. His son was staying with Bambi’s uncle Shrimp (Glenn Plummer) while his baby momma is in jail for stealing food because she couldn’t get food stamps. When Bambi returns home he’s propositioned by uncle Shrimp to drive to Oregon to drop off Oxycodone. Bambi says no, he wants to work on his poetry which he is actually quite talented at. Shrimp tells Bambi to get out of his house if he’s not willing to help. Bambi and his son are stranded to Bambi’s car since he doesn’t have a license, as he struggles to stay out of the game so he can get a better life for his family.
John Boyega delivers a wonderful and quiet performance as a young man trying to keep everything together while the underworld of drugs and gangs falls in on him and his son. He’s very believable, and it stems from the vulnerability Boyega brings to the performance. His best scene is almost at the end of the film. Without giving much away, Bambi has a lion inside of him and it wants to be unleashed; however, he knows for his future and the greater good of his family he must suppress the lion and stay calm. It’s heartbreaking and brilliant to watch at the same time.
The film takes an unflinching look at some of the problems facing the world today. Bambi is unable to get a license because he didn’t pay his child support because he was in prison. He needs a license in order to get a job; however, he can’t get a license because he doesn’t have money to pay child support because he has no job. It’s a revolving door of hell that seems to not matter in the modern day. We worry about what a candidate says or might or might not have done, instead of bringing up real world issues that actually matter to most people. The Criminal Justice system in severely flawed; I know first-hand from working in a county jail and a law office. There’s a lot that needs to be overhauled and changed. However, I have no answer; I guess if I did I’d be President.
The last thing I really liked about this film is the music. The music perfectly captures each mood at the time of each scene. I tried looking for the music used in the film and I have found no such luck. During the whole film you’ll find yourself grooving to the music.
The film becomes a little cliché here and there and at times the actors go a little over the top. However, I feel like this doesn’t take away from the overall film.
Imperial Dreams is a good film with solid performances and spot-on commentary on a flawed system. If you have 90 minutes to kill someday, give this a watch on Netflix.
Imperial Dreams (2017) Movie Review
Take a Drink: every time Bambi has a set back.
Take a Drink: every time you hear a gunshot.
Do a Shot: for every gun you see.
Do a Shot: every time there’s voiceover of poetry.