BRWC Reviews: Imperium

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Desk-bound FBI Agent Nate Foster (Daniel Radcliffe) discovers a new world as he is cherry picked by former undercover agent Angela Zamparo (Toni Collette) to enter and investigate a dirty bomb threat. Imperium takes us into a world of of white supremacy, race wars and skinheads, proving that threats don’t always come from where you expect.

First time director Daniel Ragussis is making a political statement with Imperium. From the beginning, Ragussis is making point that the world’s focus on Islamist violence is counter-productive and hides other potential threats. Yet no matter how true of poignant this statement is, it’s far too obvious. The first thirty minutes felt more like anti-fascist propaganda than it did a film about Nate Foster.

Imperium picked up significantly once this point had been made and it got into the grit of the plot they were trying to uncover, but it still only went surface deep. The characters in this film, particularly young recruit Johnny (Devin Druid) are incredibly interesting characters, yet theirs little depth to their motivation. Even the bomb plot itself only has a surface motivation and it’s very difficult to see why the event has come about in the first place with several of the plotters not even appearing until the final scenes.


Nonetheless, these basic characters are done really well and are faultless in this sense. Every skinhead feels real and even the more hidden white supremacists are believable. Where Imperium does stand out it with Daniel Radcliffe’s character. As an portrayal of how someone so risk averse, and so opposite to those he comes to live with, and even understand, is excellent. Imperium portrays well that to become trusted, you must understand and relate to the people who trust you, even if their political views are wild and they appear insane, you may have more in common than you think.

I won’t be too critical of Imperium. It’s a highly entertaining film, and I certainly enjoyed it. I’d even watch it again. The plot is well placed, the acting and the characters are good. The story is great and it’s delivery without much flaw. I just felt it could have been so much more than it was. Some will certainly feel it’s relevance and feel side by side with it’s political statement, but it was just a little force fed. Imperium is one you should judge for yourself. I don’t think many will hate it, but I don’t think it’ll blow many minds. A good film, not a great one.

Watch the trailer here.

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Films, games, Godzilla and Scott Pilgrim; these are the things that Alex loves. As he tries to make use of the fact he’s always staring at a screen or in a book, you’ll hopefully be treated to some good reviews along the way (though he doesn’t promise anything).



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