Daniel Radcliffe continues an impressive post-Hogwarts career in Daniel Ragussis’ crime drama Imperium.
Radcliffe stars as Nate Foster, a by-the-books FBI agent who is respected by his co-workers despite blending in to workplace obscurity. He’s noticed by agent Angela Zamparo (Toni Collette) who proposes an undercover mission to Foster regarding an anomaly between a gang of white supremacists and imports of a dangerous chemical. Foster’s mission is to impersonate an ex-marine with discriminatory beliefs who is looking for refuge, and solve motives before suspicious racists carry out a possible mass exodus.
Radcliffe is the glue that holds this derivative yet satisfyingly intense story together. His emotional and physical transformation is chilling, and his subdued worrying during some close calls gets the audience properly anxious. However, Imperium’s “been there, done that” screnplay is only as good as the actors who perform Ragussis’ dialogue. The monologues between Foster and devout skinheads are decent and progress the mystery, but frequent updates delivered by Radcliffe and Collette are more electric.
Imperium is Daniel Ragussis’ feature debut as a filmmaker. It’s a good film, but next time, I would like to see more ambition in his vision. He’s off to a good start by directing actors with aptitude, but there’s a missing rawness that makes Imperium less like the daring American History X and more like the commercially acceptable Black Mass.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie