Imperium review: Racist Harry Potter is the most remarkable thing about this undercover drama

James Luxford
400 - Bad Request | City A.M.

400 - Bad Request

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Ever wanted to hear Harry Potter utter every racist epithet under the sun? In Imperium, Daniel Radcliffe shaves his head and gets rowdy as an FBI agent going undercover to find out the full extent of the threat from White Supremacist terror groups in America. However you feel about potty-mouthed Potter, it’s jarring to see the star stretch himself to such lengths.

There's certainly no problem believing him in the role, as Radcliffe handles some very intense moments with the energy of someone out to prove his own abilities. It works for the most part, even if his transition from office geek to hardened undercover agent feels rushed.

The plot treads a familiar path to most undercover movies, preventing it from really taking aim at the complex social issues behind far-right extremism. Imperium feels like a vehicle for Radcliffe’s range, an uncomfortable and competent drama that’s most memorable for showing a very different side to its star.

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