It’s been awhile since I have seen Daniel Radcliffe in a movie, the last movie I have watched with him in was The Woman in Black. Needless to say, this was the most challenging of roles for Radcliffe that I have watched so far, to play an FBI agent that has to go undercover in America’s heartland as a white supremacist. It’s a movie that no doubt J.K. Rowling would have winced at.
Imperium, directed by Daniel Ragussis starts off robustly, with an introduction that merely sets the scene, trying to syphon out the next big terrorist threat – whilst the mass reserves of the FBI focused abroad, Nate Foster (Daniel Radcliffe) is recruited by Angela Zamparo (Toni Collette) to look at the domestic terrorism aspect. They begin by planting Nate in a local white supremacist group, giving him a new set of identification in order to get close to conservative radio host Dallas Wolf – this character has clearly been modelled off of Russ Limbaugh.
As Nate gains the trust of his peers, there are close and suspenseful moments of him getting sniffed out by the white supremacist groups. What is most impressive about Imperium is the detail they set the world in, from the zionist conspiracy and isolated community the groups find themselves in. It feels authentic and Radcliffe’s performance is abundantly clever, as his research into the groups pays off dividends, to the point that he becomes dependent upon by the group.
The film was a compelling watch, with great pacing, set location and casting. There is somewhat a smattering of political smudging involved in the film, though, both the confederate and Gadsden flags are waved by the white supremacist groups – the confederate flag itself you cannot argue as it’s historical roots trail back to the American Civil War on the side that fought for slavery – however, the Gadsden flag is known for anti-government, patriotism and civil liberties. It’s difficult to tell whether this was done on purpose or just an innocuous occurrence.
Overall, Imperium is one of the better films I have seen in recent years. Whilst the ending is predictable, it’s authenticity and rich character building culminates in a compelling 109 minutes.
- Radcliffe Was Great
- Good Depth
- Great Character Building
- Symbolism Issues
- Not as Good as American History X