Code Name: Emperor review: A forgettable espionage thriller

Code Name: Emperor is a Spanish thriller movie about an intelligence agent who is tasked with implicating a clean politician. To maintain peace, he must now decide if there are any more boundaries he would or would not cross.

Story

Juan, an intelligence agent for the state carries out an ample number of missions. Most of them are corrupt and involve blackmailing politicians or officials, or helping to cover illicit activities of people who the government owes favours to.

He has the task of tracking any evidence that could be used to blackmail or manipulate a politician, or if there is none, to fabricate such evidence. Juan has his reservations about it.

He also monitors the activities of a couple trying to sell radioactive material used in creating bombs and stop such a dangerous act.

Juan’s way of operating involves manipulation and deceit, and he gets involved with the maid of the couple to get more information. Eventually, he develops feelings for her and wishes to run away from the corrupt actions and tainted tasks that his job requires.

Juan must make a choice between giving in and acting as these corrupt officials’ right hand or leaving this life and living a legitimate and honest one.

Performances

Overall, Code Name: Emperor has neat performances. Juan, played by Luis Tosar is a layered and well-written character brought to life in an immersive and naturalistic way. He is charismatic, and convincing and brings the conflict he is experiencing to screen realistically.

Alexandra Masangkay who plays Wendy also does a satisfactory job portraying the innocence of her character.

The other roles are not really remarkable except Marta played by the wonderful Georgina Amorós who deserves a special mention. With not a lot of screentime, she does a fabulous job with her real, emotive and expressive performance.

Positives

Apart from the performances, the movie is also realistic and representational in its depiction of the state and the corruption involved within the government. There is no exaggeration to dramatise the plot but uses simplistic storylines to uncover the reality of a crooked system.

The characters and the conflict they face when it comes to their personal choices and their duty is also effectively shown.

The pacing and runtime of Code Name: Emperor is also appropriate to keep the viewer engaged.

Negatives

Code Name: Emperor has a clear, relevant and coherent plot only on paper, but fails to bring that to the screen. The different subplots are unnecessary, quite ambiguous and enmeshed with one another to a point it becomes complicated for the viewer.

There is no context or background story which makes it difficult to relate to or understand the characters, making the story a bit unappealing.

There are very few to negligible true thrilling moments and the plot just goes on blandly.

The music and cinematography in Code Name: Emperor could have been better to add more impact.

Verdict

Code Name: Emperor is a one-time flick you can watch to pass your time. It does not offer something supremely unique or super engaging.

It is interesting in its depiction of how information is power. It also aptly portrays a corrupt system which employs deceitful and immoral means but it is not something we have not seen before.

Code Name: Emperor
Code Name: Emperor review: A forgettable espionage thriller 1

Director: Jorge Coira

Date Created: 2022-08-12 12:30

Editor's Rating:
2.5

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