Crime Cop Out: Our Review of ‘Imperium’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - September 30, 2016
Crime Cop Out: Our Review of ‘Imperium’

Actors Daniel Radcliffe and Toni Collette, who star in the crime film Imperium,  in addition to anyone who spends nearly two hours watching the film from writer and director Daniel Ragussis, deserve much, much better.

This story about an undercover cop infiltrating a white supremacist clan isn’t necessarily bad. Well, it is, but it’s more lazy and disappointing. Amassed from every other similar story, Imperium substitutes conviction for cliche, telling a tale most familiar in the most banal way possible.

Radcliffe is unconvincing American FBI Agent Nate Foster. Maybe it’s his keener attitude, or yes, his small stature, but the talented British actor who has impressed in many turns since departing his famed wizard wear, can’t quite make this role work. His boss is played by Collette, who is more believable, but while she does more with much less, and is underused, the premise of the film seems to quickly crumble away.


Without particular purpose or energy, Foster opts to become a skinhead, because apparently they’re the next big threat to the States. It should be noted, there is no indication that this film wants to dabble in politics or meaning. That is to say, it may be trying to, but it’s not working.

So the two agents work together to glean details on what they anticipate will be a domestic terrorist attack. To complete the circle of stereotypical characters, they’ve a boss (Nestor Carbonell) who tells them things like they’ve got nothing, they’re running out of time, and they’ve failed. Deep stuff.

The rest of the film runs as expected, with Foster having a few moments where his conscience is tested and his earnestness is questioned. Without any passion or creativity, Imperium rolls lacking tension or intrigue, and the result is a weird mix of not caring what happens to Foster or his newfound friends, but also knowing exactly how everything will end up.

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Anthony is a lover of a good story in any form, on any subject. Tirelessly navigating filmdom, he is equal parts an unbridled idealist and stubborn curmudgeon, trying to strike a balance between head and heart when it comes to pop culture. He pens stories about television, music, the environment, lifestyles, and all things noteworthy and peculiar.