Somewhere in-between Daniel Radcliffe's farting corpse in Swiss Army Man, and the neo-Nazi infiltrator of Imperium, lies the hope of those last few embers of his Harry Potter identity finally burning away.
Every actor canonised by an iconic role will, in due course, be looking for the opportunity to move on; and it looks as if Radcliffe is doing everything right in his journey to re-establishing himself within the Hollywood mainframe.
Including his role here as Nate Foster, a member of the FBI recruited by a senior agent (Toni Collette) to infiltrate a neo-Nazi group, in order to foil a brewing terrorist plot. Imperium takes direct inspiration from the true accounts of federal agent Michael German, who's time undercover in white supremacist groups led him to co-writing the Imperium screenplay with director Daniel Ragussis, who here makes his directorial debut.
Not to accuse Radcliffe of cynical manoeuvring, but Imperium proves exactly the kind of gritty role to aid the actor from breaking from his past; it certainly helped Ryan Gosling wash away his Mickey Mouse Club days when he starred as a young Jewish neo-Nazi in The Believer, or helped Elijah Wood move past Frodo Baggins in his role as converted football hooligan in Lexi Alexander's Green Street.
That said, Radcliffe certainly doesn't seem to be shunning his star-making debut in the Harry Potter films, having entertained a future return as an adult incarnation of the character.
Imperium opens in the UK on 23 September.
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