“IMPERIUM” stars Daniel Radcliffe as Nate Foster, a young, motivated agent in the FBI that goes undercover to try and infiltrate a radical white-supremacist group before they can execute an attack on American citizens. With his only contact being a veteran agent (Collette) focused more on the job than his well being, Foster will have to risk it all to make the operation a success.
I really love crime-drama’s, and in particular undercover cop thrillers, when done properly. Now this film is not on the level of a “Donnie Brasco” but with a strong performance by Daniel Radcliffe it does turn out a be a very intriguing film. Daniel Radcliffe continues to build a resume of excellent performances since his Harry Potter days and it is nice to see him display his range in this film.
The story is filled with enough substance to build intrigue in wanting to see how Radcliffe’s character will wind up in the story. The look this story takes inside the dark world of radical white supremacists was a compelling one and the way this script explores the evil this sub-culture stands for was thought-provoking. There was a suitable building of tension throughout, and while it may play by all the standard undercover cop themes, it was still enjoyable.
Other than Radcliffe’s performance this was a rather common script for the genre and did have some flaws. There were instances where things were too glossed over when the detail could have created more impact in the story as well as a connection to the characters. Toni Collette however was a plus, her performances as the cold agent with a hidden softer side was serviceable for the story and easily Collette made the most out of the material.
There was nothing exceptional about this movie but there were many good things about it to make it worth a watch. It was much better than I had expected and Radcliffe shines in the lead easily pulling the writing of his character to higher levels and I’ll give “Imperium” a (B). This was a compelling film that may have had a routine path, but with strong detail taken into showing the inner working of white supremacist groups was a impactful one, showing that not all terrorists are abroad and with maybe 10 extra minutes of development this could have very well been a great film and not just a good one.
Time: 109 min
MPAA Rating: R (For language throughout)