- August 19th, 2016
- 1 Hour 49 Minute Run Time
Imperium takes the viewers down a dark path showing them a world that most would rather not think about instead bringing it to light and showing us how real and personal it is on a level the viewer may not have assumed. Does it do itself justice though and bring us a provocative film or fall short at the last moment?
Daniel Radcliffe plays “Nate Foster” a FBI agent who wanting to take the next step forward in his career decides to take the task of going undercover to get inside of a white supremacy group. His goal is to get deep enough inside to find out and hopefully stop whatever major act they plan on committing. What works so well though is that Nate is not your typical FBI agent you’d assume would be given this. He is hand selected because he is intelligent and more a people person rather than a bigger muscular type. Nate is able to get deep with them on a personal level enough to understand them and attempt to associate with them. From here though we watch him completely reinvent himself in a attempt to get deep in while keeping ahead of the ones who seem to grow more suspicious of him as every day passes.
Based off of a true story Imperium partially works so well because it has a real basis to run by. Even when the script begins to race forward the film is saved by these groups of neo-nazis we have been presented. Some being far out and closer to what a stereotype of them would be while others are presented as a normal family from the outside. With the insight and attention to detail we are given for many characters it truly helps flesh them out as feeling like real people aside from their beliefs.
What hurts the film though and is truly the only negative is that the film plots along slowly dragging you into it only to have a rushed ending. We are shown Nate’s journey deep into the neo-nazi’s group in what arguably feels real only to have an almost heroic ending that feels fake because of the speed and almost randomness it occurs. Given more time leading to it the ending could of gone smoother but because of the speed of the occurrence we are almost pushed out some from the world we were dragged into.
Daniel Radcliffe though as Nate Foster in arguably his greatest role yet. He nails it perfectly giving his all and truly making it feel like he is giving it his all in a attempt to not be caught and possibly killed. His character is so intriguing based on his skills and almost willingness to fall deep into these peoples lifes to see what they believe in. All the side cast as well nails their job including Tracy Letts as “Dallas Wolf”, an internet radio host who shows just how easy it is to spew hatred and have people follow it even if you yourself don’t believe it. Sam Trammell as Gerry Conway though nails it as well. His portrayal as your every day family man on the outside only to be raising his children with hatred inside shows us a viewer how even someone you may never expect from the outside may have different motives in their personal life.
Overall Imperium is fantastic in simple terms. It’s a provocative story that quickly draws you in based on context and character performances. Only lacking from a rushed ending that could have been better given time we are still treated to a very intense drama / thriller. This is one film that is highly recommend and will you leave you talking about it long after it’s done.
Score : 8/10