John Boyega Struggles to Find His Footing After Prison in New ‘Imperial Dreams’ Trailer

     January 27, 2017


Though he is now something like a household name thanks to his lead role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, John Boyega hasn’t had many roles in his feature film career thus far. He gave a breakout performance in Attack the Block, Joe Cornish‘s exhilarating and uproarious alien-invasion cult hit, and then appeared in two more conventional dramas, including Half of a Yellow Sun. Otherwise, Boyega has been sticking mainly to TV series and TV movies until The Force Awakens arrived and now, he’ll be seen in Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Pacific Rim sequel, and Kathryn Bigelow‘s immensely anticipated Detroit Riots project.


Image via Netflix

It took a year or two for Half of a Yellow Sun to see release, and so has it taken three years to get Imperial Dreams, the other drama he made before hitting his stride, in a place where a public audience can regularly take a look at the film. Netflix will release Imperial Dreams, which centers on Boyega as a former convict who is now looking to start a decent life with his son in the Imperial Courts projects outside of Los Angeles, on February 3rd and the latest trailer for the film, which you can take a look at below, lays out a familiar inspirational tale. Still, there seems to be much more focus on how former inmates are treated in society, especially in the area of employment, in Imperial Dreams than similar stories about familial survival. And the fact that the great Flying Lotus contributed the score does not hurt. There’s bound to be some sappy stuff between Boyega’s character and his son, played by Ethan and Justin Coach, but that doesn’t mean that the force of the workmanlike drama has to be diminished in any way. As always, we shall see.

Here’s the new trailer for Imperial Dreams:

Here’s the official synopsis for Imperial Dreams:

Bambi (John Boyega) wants to publish his credos and chronicles and start his career the way any other normal young writer would. For Bambi, however, normal is the quandary. “Normal” means returning to Watts, Los Angeles, after a 28-month jail stint to find his young son playing next to his strung-out grandmother. It’s normal for the patriarch of his family to offer Bambi pills, guns, and a drug-running job as a way to welcome him home. A normal visit from his cousin involves Bambi and son performing minor surgery to extract a bullet from his arm. Bambi meets this surreal, ghetto normal with equanimity, but he knows life can’t be “normal” like this for long.

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