28 January 2003 | Finne
It was a sheer coincidence that I happened to notice this one from the telly. A lucky coincidence, as it made me interested about the man himself, Mr. Stormare, and now I've seen many fine performances by him in other movies. Carl Hamilton was a familiar man for me, I have read some of the books, and enjoyed them - not greatly at all times, but enjoyed anyway. I did not see movie "Hamilton", of which I am happy, because this series must give so much more to the viewer than the movie. I had no expectations about the series, so I was not disappointed, vice versa. So, Commander Carl Hamilton of the Swedish Army Intelligence starts the mission to prevent nuclear missiles being smuggled from Russia... with the help of the Americans, Russians, and finally Palestinians. All sorts of things happen and the story wanders from Stockholm to Murmansk, Washington and Libya... A pleasant surprise that the Russians were not all crooks, I actually got a very soft spot for Yuri Chivartsev (Yevgeni Lasarev)! And Mark Hamill got many extra points doing the role of maniac Mike Hawkins - he surely did not remind me of Luke Skywalker in this one! Good for him! The only role that was a sort of disappointment to me was of Åke Stålhandske, played by our Mats Långbacka - I would have wanted to see the robustness of Åke... but, on the other hand, I blame the manus for that, as well as of those blunders in the logics. For those who blame Carl Hamilton being stiff - have you REALLY read the books? What do you expect of a man who lives in a "safe" country, amidst people who have no idea what dirty and dangerous things happen, what hideous things he is forced to do so that they could also remain safe? He's NOT an "American" hero, luckily! I think that Peter Stormare did a convincing and intensive role and one memorable moment is when Carl tells his bride Tess (Lena Olin, smallish but effective role) about the events on Russian tundra and gets on the verge of breaking down. Also the tension between him and Åke is very well played by both participants. And dozens of little things, gestures, glances, slipping from good American-English into heavy Swedish accent when agitated, etc., they "betray" Mr. Stormare to be a very talented and skillful actor.
Well, OK... this could have been "more Swedish" but I suspect this is much more rewarding to see than the actual movie. There are some mishaps and blunders in the story and all the characters are not very convincing, but if I can enjoy this even though I'm from Finland and this is made by Swedes (mostly), I think it's worth seeing. So if you folks in other countries get the chance to see this series, be my guests and use the opportunity, but DON'T LET THEM DUB! Subtitles are a fine invention!!!