Daniel Radcliffe has taken on some interesting characters since the role that will always define him, and this one certainly bears the least likeness to Harry Potter. Nate Foster (Daniel Radcliffe) is straight-laced FBI agent who loves classical music and gets his big break when Angela Zamparo (Toni Collette) persuades him to go undercover to befriend and investigate a right-wing terrorist group in Virginia. Transforming his image and bearing a resemblance to a 1960s skinhead, Foster gets himself in with a gang of intimidating neo-Nazis. He is soon accepted into their mob – perhaps a little too soon to be believable – and they start wreaking havoc amongst the local community, exacerbating racial hatred and violence.
The montages of real-life footage scattered throughout the film reminds the viewers of the extremity of the white supremacy movement in America and the rest of the world. Quick cuts between images of Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan, racial violence and burning crosses, remind the audience that it’s not yet over for everyone – not all societies have progressed.
With sterling performances from Radcliffe in almost every scene, he convinces the Aryan Warriors of his character, as well as the viewers. He wangles his way into the group and makes a close alliance with Nazi ringleader Gerry Conway (Sam Trammell) along with Dallas Wolf (Tracy Letts), the extreme right-wing aggressive radio presenter whose main objective is, disappointingly, only to radicalise and entertain his listeners.
Although a sensitive topic, with potentially too much room for discussion, the plot lacked a sense of complexity and depth, with the ending feeling far too abrupt. There was a slight sense throughout the film that although it felt like something big was just about to happen, it never did.
Based on some of the true events of ex-FBI agent Mike German and his time spent undercover to infiltrate white supremacist groups and anti-government militias, Imperium is one of the most relevant films in current cinemas, both exciting and sometimes uncomfortable to watch.
Imperium is released nationwide on 23rd September 2016.
Watch the trailer for Imperium here: