Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller.
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Toni Collette, Tracy Letts, Sam Trammell, Nestor Carbonell, Devin Druid, Chris Sullivan, Seth Nurmich, Burn Gorman.
Year Of Release: 2016
Certificate: 15 (UK)/R-Rated (US)
Runtime: 109 Minutes
Director: Daniel Ragussis
Synopsis: “Idealistic FBI agent Nate Foster goes undercover to take down a radical white supremacy terrorist group. The up-and-coming analyst must confront the challenge of sticking to a new identity while maintaining his real principles as he navigates the dangerous underworld of white supremacy. ” IMDB
“Imperium” tells the story of FBI agent Nate Foster (Radcliffe) based on real retired agent Michael German, who goes undercover within a group of white supremacists to try and track down a stolen radioactive isotope. During his time undercover, Nate gets mixed up with other groups within this world of white power, Nate struggles to keep his identity under-wraps while attempting to under the plot to use a dirty bomb somewhere within the US.
I was a little worried than Radcliffe would struggle to shake the Harry Potter vibe, even though he hasn’t been said character for half a decade. That being said, it is his character Nate being so out depths with what he is doing that makes Radcliffe suit the role, physically I never felt Radcliffe looked the part, I mean shaving your head does not a menacing Nazi make. He did act the part well though, he may only be young, but he has a very experienced head on his shoulders and it shows in such a performance. Such a ballsy move by somebody who is still seen in many eyes as Harry Potter, things go from strength to strength for Radcliffe in my opinion, this is a just another stepping stone to people respecting him as an actor and not just a character. I realise this turned into more of a love letter to Radcliffe than I intended, however, that doesn’t mean the rest of the cast were bad, another great performance came from Chris Sullivan who played Andrew Blackwell a not so nice man who Chris managed to make feel like a victim even though his ideology was so warped it was disturbing.
The plot of the film is a bit of a mess at times, but for a feature film debut it is far from a bad attempt it does seem to struggle to pick the genre they are aiming for, one moment it’s edge of your seat thriller another moment it’s a documentary delving into the background of the neo-Nazi movement. While the story struggles at times to keep you completely enticed, it does look very nice throughout, also the ending doesn’t feel like it was wrote for the same film, without spoiling it, the entire story the develops quickly loses traction as the focal point and another side story starts up and that’s what it finishes on. The film is definitely a slow burner, but given the subject material it makes sense due to trying to build as much tension as possible, which at times it does in a brilliant way.
Overall, I found the film to be an enjoyable flick albeit a little too long, they could have cut about 10/15 minutes and would have been more appealing to watch, there was a few times it did drag. This didn’t make the film bad at all, it just struggles to reach its potential, but what was put out was still a very enjoyable film albeit the finale felt a little rushed and out of nowhere. Radcliffe is a standout performer in the film, he excels disturbingly well as a neo-Nazi, the film allows Radcliffe freedom to explore his acting ability, along with Radcliffe, Sam Trammel as the conflicted Gerry Conway added a great dynamic to the film especially in his scenes with Radcliffe.