Cinematic Releases: Imperium (2016) - Reviewed

Now in limited run theaters
and VOD. 
Available now on VOD is the intense crime thriller Imperium, which presents the scary world of the white hate movement and the realistic domestic terrorist threats that exist inside of it. Daniel Radcliffe plays Nate Foster, an FBI agent that goes undercover as a skinhead in order to locate missing radioactive material and prevent a white supremacist group from making a bomb. Because of the harsh subject matter and extreme ideologies that are presented, this is most likely not going to been seen by a large audience. Unfortunately, that is a huge shame as it is a gripping and tension filled story featuring a brilliant performance from Radcliffe.

Radcliffe kills it as an intelligent loner FBI analyst who fits the perfect character make-up to befriend and infiltrate the racist groups that he encounters. His character has to adapt and absorb everything that this subculture entails in order to fully gain peoples trust. We get a glimpse of what undercover life is like and the high that comes with it. All of the other actors give honest portrayals and are all believable in their various roles as members of the white hate movement.

Like American History X, Green Room, and other pictures that deal with the sensitive subject of passionate racism, the dialogue and imagery is jarring and offensive. But what is important in a story like this, is that everything it is presented in a truthful manner. The narrative goes deep into the white hate movement. They use actual photos and video footage, show the typical people and groups that are within the various movements, demonstrate ways in which they recruit and spread propaganda, and they all use dialogue that would be considered natural for hate groups. The script and dialogue has been expertly crafted by first time feature length screenwriter and director Daniel Ragussis. Not only does it address how victimization often leads to people joining hate groups, it also explores how violence directed at them can only further amp up the hatred.

daniel radcliffe
Ever seen a skinhead wizard before? Didn't think so.

Ragussis does a fine job in his first feature, with some help from the talented veteran cinematographer Bobby Bukowski. It’s somewhat telling that he was chosen for this job, as he previously worked on the terrorist thriller Arlington Road. The score is an excellent mix of harsh pulsating sounds, classical music, and a little bit of hate rock. This harshness really ramps up those moments of fear and tension.

This is a must see motion picture that features another great performance from an actor that has clearly shown he’s more than just Harry Potter. 

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-Raul Vantassle