Daniel Radcliffe is a young FBI agent with no field work experience, but this is about to change when Toni Collette recruits him to infiltrate a group of white supremacists whom they believe are plotting to carry out a terrorist attack.
Undercover stories are always a perfect time for an actor to shine, and while many may be surprised at just how good Daniel Radcliffe is here – possibly having last seen him in harry potter – it came as no surprise to me. Over the past few years Radcliffe has been expertly moving away from Harry Potter by only making interesting movies (I haven’t seen Victor Frankenstein). Even the movies he makes that don’t fully work – Horns – are interesting and do something to propel his career. This year in particular has seen Swiss Army Man and now this, his best performance yet.
The film itself is not something you haven’t seen before. But it does the job very nicely. It’s tense when it needs to be and it’s pacey when it needs to be. There is an element of workmanlike efficiency to the proceedings but I don’t state that as a negative especially. It’s a very solid undercover thriller raised to a higher level by an excellent main character.
Imperium also benefits from a worryingly up to date and relevant subject matter, whether that was by design or not is unclear but watching the movie does feel awfully like rewatching particular news stories from 2016. It would make a solid topical double feature with Green Room although I would advise one doesn’t think too much about the parallels with real life, because it could get upsetting.