By: Movie Snurb (Two Beers) –
Imperium is based on the true events of Michael German when he went undercover for the FBI to infiltrate white supremacy terrorist groups and bring them down from the inside. Daniel Radcliffe plays Nate Foster, an idealistic FBI agent who is chosen to go undercover to take down white supremacy terrorists groups. He is reluctant at first, but then realizes it his intellect instead of brawn and intimidation he needs to use to gain the trust of these groups. He begins with the skinheads so he can get close to a talk radio personality who uses his radio show to attract followers to his white supremacist cause. Instead he comes across some men who are far worse.
The acting in this film is superb, especially Daniel Radcliffe. Radcliffe is able to believably portray an intelligent FBI agent who is still unsure of his abilities to go undercover. He even shaved his own head for the scene where Nate shaves his head to go undercover, that’s some dedication. Radcliffe gives quite possibly his best performance of his career; however he is surrounded by several other excellent performances, like Toni Collette who plays Nate’s boss who pushes and helps him along when he is frightened or unsure of his abilities. Also, Chris Sullivan is very unsettling as the leader of a religious Neo-Nazi group committed to the cause, who comes close to figuring out who Nate really is.
The acting is only made better by the tense writing. There are a few times when Nate almost gets made and it’s sold by the acting and the writing together. Several films attempt to have very tense and gripping scenes; however, because of either lackluster writing or flat-lined acting the films become forgettable or even just terrible. However, because Michael German helped write the script he was able to provide a realistic feel to the situations that Nate finds himself in. Those real life experiences help keep you on the edge of your seat.
I felt like the entire film was rushed. I enjoyed the film; however I felt like Nate’s time undercover was very short. It feels like he didn’t spend much time undercover, which in reality he’d need to spend a while, even probably years, to build a rep and trust with the organizations he is trying to infiltrate.
Imperium won’t be the best film you see this year. However, Imperium is absolutely worth a watch. The acting and tense writing will give you quite a thrill ride for two hours.
Imperium (2016) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time Nate is almost found out.
Take a Drink: every time Nate doubts himself.
Do a Shot: every time hate speech is uttered.
Do a Shot: to calm your nerves in that car ride down to the “Youth Concert for Hitler’s Birthday.”