Imperium full movie review - Fight for power
This is my review of Imperium (spoiler free)
The third act of this impulsive cop thriller is the most powerful when Nate (Radcliffe) is in deep cover and the people around have their suspicions growing and they think that he is lying about his identity and he is constantly on the verge of having them find out who he really is. However if you were looking for a person to go undercover as a violent manipulative skinhead, someone like Daniel Radcliffe would be an unlikely first choice ? although his on-screen character, Nate, is equally dubious about the mission that his superior the malevolent Angela Zamparo (an excellent Toni Collette) picks him for the job. Although he is unused to fieldwork and used to sitting on his bottom in an office ? let alone unused to gangs of violent thugs or in this white supremacists, willing to get rid of Africans who "took over their home" as they put it. It seems like quite the task for Nate the character and Dan the actor to have to go through, however even though his performance is rough and not to a particular standard we are used to, he prevails as the lead role with his wobbly performance. And his physical transformation mainly shaving his head and changing his persona to an Iraqi war veteran seems to pull through. This also seems like quite the challenge for newbie writer/director Daniel Ragussis but his directorial debut seems to be a quite a powerful feat for the man who only has two shorts to his name. The plot throughout the rest of the film is okay, it's pretty aimless at some points and what you might expect to be a violent dark cop thriller it spends most of its time with smart dialogue and veers aggressively away from violence, its powerful yet tame at the same time but a lot better than Radcliffe's performance as the Machiavellian villain in summer flat-liner Now You See Me 2 instead he turned out just as flat as the other villains in the story and he gloated too much. This turned to be quite a powerful feat for the former boy wizard.
As the story dwindles so do the performances and as you'll be sitting there wondering where this going you can't help but to comment on the darkness feeling of the film. Nate has to try to fit in with white supremacists and along the way he is also run by a trump-like dictator Dallas Wolf (Letts) who is full of smart, convincing but racist speeches about the Africans in America being genocide so as Nate is constantly being taught by him there is an even more terrifying fate the thugs are planning a terrorist attack so now this has turned into an ISIS wannabe thriller. However this isn't dark and emotionless all the way through it has a couple of lighthearted moments where you might even be forced to let out a sadistic laugh at this point but, through the rest of it the seriousness talks hold. Nate is now in deep cover forgetting who he really is he starts to join the neo-Nazi parade for freedom as they put it were their theme is "white power," and Nate becomes a person who he hates but it's good for business as he will lose his if he doesn't do what he is told. Finally near the ending of the film as the threats of a fore-coming terrorist attack get stronger, Nate has to try and stop these guys from going through with it as much as he can so he thinks of a distraction but doesn't quite succeed as the suspicions grow he keeps his cool, even though his life is about to come to an abrupt end.
What unfolds throughout is an undercover thriller that's gripping in parts but strangely aimless in others, weighed by with too much talking although it's smart when a jolt of action violent or not could have sparked this thriller to life instead of trying to be dark and foreboding it really wouldn't have gone amiss to have a little blood in there. The thrills are dark and light at the same time especially with there execution which could be better and they are predictable as all things, one thrill especially takes place when Dallas Wolf doesn't take money that he asked for, as he is suspicious about Nate's character but you can see it coming from a mile away although it's a good thrill the execution could be better and well less predictable. Dan's performance is thoughtful and well scripted however at some points when he turns into a racist stereotype you begin to hate him, and his performance isn't as charismatic or as enthusiastic as it could have been, still apart from all that this is still an enjoyable cop thriller and it's definitely worth watching.
VERDICT: Strong, and powerful yet aimless tries to hard to be a serious cop thriller but what unfolds is a dark, bloodless, and chatty thriller.
6/10 entertaining but dry.