Directed by Daniel Ragussis
In Daniel Ragussis’ directorial debut feature, “Imperium”, Daniel Radcliffe plays an FBI agent who agrees to change his looks in order to infiltrate a white supremacist group as a skinhead and former soldier.
Mr. Ragussis also produced the movie and wrote the screenplay based on a real story by Michael German, a retired FBI agent who spent more than 20 months undercover among dangerous extremists.
The righteous, introverted, and extremely clever FBI agent, Nate Foster (Radcliffe), is challenged by his superior, Angela Zamparo (Toni Collette), to join a right-wing cell, as she quickly realizes he has the ideal profile to become an infiltrator.
Zamparo suspects the Neo-Nazi group is behind a destructive plan that involves the use of a specific radioactive material, imported in abnormal quantities.
As part of the scheme, Nate shaves his head and reads a lot about the extremist ideals, before gaining the sympathy of Vince (Pawel Szajda), the skinhead that will lead him to the presumable suspect, Dallas Wolf (Tracy Letts), a white-supremacist agitator who foments the race war and considers himself a public entertainer.
Sometimes, figuring out the connections is not easy, especially when you’re surrounded by many possible hazards that appear from different directions. The luring scheme that Nate had mounted to catch Dallas reveals itself a disappointment; Vince’s aggressive bodyguard, Roy (Seth Numrich), is a barking-mad provocateur who always makes trouble; Andrew Blackwell (Chris Sullivan), a religious Nazi who leads his own turf, knows there’s a snitch within the group; and the FBI management is not so cooperative as Nate wanted it to be.
A guy who seems harmless is Gerry Conway (Sam Trammell), an educated idealist, classical music connoisseur, and a man of family, who ended up in the movement due to the influence of books and a crescent racist loathing developed in his youth when working in Kenya.
Well acted and structured, “Imperium” guarantees the proper tension to capture our senses.
It doesn’t have the power of “American History X” or the sharpness of “This Is England”, but the chained actions/reactions and hopes/frustrations lead this boat to a safe harbor.
Mr. Radcliffe passed this difficult test, showing aptitudes to do more than just the Harry Potter.