Imperium Movie Review
Harry Potter turns skinhead—well, an undercover agent posing as a skinhead—in Imperium, a surprisingly solid crime thriller that for some reason didn’t receive a theatrical release (the movie is now on Blu-ray).
Imperium serves as another quality entry on Daniel Radcliffe’s post-Harry Potter resume. Radcliffe has seemingly purposefully stayed away from big budget productions, give or take, opting for interesting roles in interesting movies regardless of their financial potential. Imperium is neither as ambitious nor original as some of Radcliffe’s other work, but it’s a well-made, engaging production nonetheless.
Writer/director Daniel Ragussis won’t receive accolades for the film—it isn’t the first movie about undercover cops or Neo-Nazis, and neither the writing or direction stand out as incredible—but Imperium is an evenly told movie that maintains momentum throughout. Radcliffe delivers a strong performance and the story is compelling.
The movie falters some when it comes to the Neo-Nazi characters—they are largely one dimensional and not particularly memorable. Ragussis attempts to present them as human beings—not necessarily evil, just misguided—but the way the characters are written, most notably the main “villain” (Sam Trammell), they lack the necessary nuance to make us feel for them—or even hate them. Ragussis would have been better off going the other direction and making his Neo-Nazis truly despicable individuals.
Still, Imperium is an effective, entertaining thriller that features another good performance by Radcliffe.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.