Daniel Radcliffe flexes his acting muscles in the role of an idealistic FBI agent who goes undercover posing as a skinhead to infiltrate a radical right-wing terrorist group in chillingly topical political thriller Imperium.
Despite the buzz-cut, his meek loner looks completely out of place and patently unsuited for the task – as he insists to his hard-nosed FBI handler (Toni Collette) prior to the mission. Surely the racist thugs will rumble his cover? Or will his sharp wits keep him out of trouble?
Loosely based on the experiences of co-writer Mike German, a former FBI agent, Imperium isn’t as probing or as gripping as some other films tackling neo-Nazi violence – such as American History X and Green Room. But Radcliffe convinces us that when his hero gets into a jam he really is thinking on his feet to get out of it. And today’s febrile political climate ensures the film comes across as an urgent cautionary tale.
Certificate 15. Runtime 106 mins. Director Daniel Ragussis
Imperium debuts on Saturday 4 March on Sky Cinema Premiere and is available on Blu-ray & DVD from Signature Entertainment.
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A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.