Imperium is a lovely little film, seemingly designed for those of us who loved Green Room but thought it was just a tad too optimistic and uplifting.
It’s also a film with a very subtle message: That America is busy focusing on the threat from radical Islam that it’s either unwilling or unable to confront the threat posed by the radical right. It’s such a subtle message that it get a mere three full montages- which is exactly three more montages than our main character (played by Daniel Radcliffe) gets.
I’m not joking, his full character development can be summed as thus
“I’m a desk jockey, I’m not trained for this! I’ll be killed in the first five minutes!”
And with literally that much motivation behind him he goes from a timid, socially awkward bowl cut wearing nerd to super FBI under-cover agent who seemingly knows everything and seemingly never makes a mistake. Which makes him rather dull if I were to treat him as a character, but, since this is a movie with a message he’s merely out eyes through which we explore the fact that Nazis are everywhere! Their not just skinheads and thugs anymore but lawyers! Doctors! Architects! Some even host Vegan barbecues without any alcohol (The horror!!!)
As in the previous film on this matter, its shot in a very matter of fact, dull style with no heroic or corny moments. Mind you it doesn’t have many light relief moments either, even seemingly innocent moments throb with tension.
It’s not perfect, it’s about ten minutes to long and makes its point with all the tact and subtlety of a brick through a plate glass window and then keeps going, but I did enjoy the ride and it was nice to hear Daniel Radcliffe pull off a convincing American Accent, the story moves naturally with no cliched ‘eureka’ moment in the last fifteen minutes.
On the other hand, Radcliffe’s character has no real discernible character (nor for that matter do most of the people) and there’s a few plot threads that go untied but this and Green Room do make me wonder if were witnessing the beginning of a sea change in who Hollywood’s go to villains are.Probably not, but it’s nice to imagine.
Imperium is a tense examination of something that we would rather close our eyes to, it’s plot (go undercover to stop the bomb) is pretty standard and it’s more interesting in making it’s point than providing much re-watch value but it’s absolutely worth a watch. Just have something cheery to pop on afterwards
My Score- See It