16 May 2012 | CurtHerzstark
This is the latest installment in the Hamilton franchise, the first feature film was made in 1989 (Täcknamn Coq Rouge)at that time Stellan Skarsgård played Hamilton. Over the years there have been many TV/film productions about Hamilton made specifically for a Swedish audience.
For people who are not familiar with the Hamilton series/franchise, its basically the Swedish equivalent to James Bond or Jason Bourne. Hamilton is a secret agent with a license to kill, has been trained by the US Navy Seals and undergone training at the Swedish special forces.
This film series is based on a popular book series written by left wing radical author/journalist Jan Guillou and therefore offers a more leftist, liberal point view in the world of espionage.
Hamilton - I nationens intresse (2012)is based on one of the novels that was written during the cold war and some storyline details, people, etc have been changed in order to update the material.
The story is pretty simple, Hamilton goes undercover with a group of Russian weapons smuggler who are stealing Swedish made rockets. But the smugglers gets attacked by a unknown group of heavily armed soldiers.
Hamilton suspects they might have connection to a Private military contractor, based in the USA. He starts to investigate, but quickly ends in trouble...
As I mentioned earlier there have been many adaptations of the books, mainly made for Swedish TV. The technical quality have been poor, or downright crappy. This film however has a very impressive, high, production value, direction and some nice action sequences, rarely seen in Swedish film.
Director Kathrine Windfeld seems to be very inspired by the films of Paul Greengrass, especially his work on the Bourne franchise.
Hamilton in this film is more darker, complex character, then I've ever seen him before. Mikael Persbrandt brings a lot of personality and depth, which is pretty impressive because the books portray him as an cartoon figure, superhero who has no flaws.
Here he is more human, flawed, brooding and is haunted by his job, the decisions he has to make. And how can he continue having this job and live a normal life? Its nice update by Kathrine Windfeld and screenwriter Stefan Thunberg.
Casting overall is pretty good but contains some surprises.
Seba Mubarak as Mouna Al Fathar, a PLO intelligence officer, friend and colleague to Hamilton is well casted. But the problem is that Mouna was more independent, in the books, and here almost does nothing other looking beautiful next to Hamilton.
It isn't Seba Mubarak fault, mainly a script flaw, and a waste of a talented actress who has nothing do. But I was surprised that they didn't cast some Swedish actors with middleastern background, like Nina Zanjani, Nour El-Refai etc.
Lennart Hjulström as Hamiltons closest boss and father figure is excellent and does his job perfect. And he comes close to the original in the books.
Jason Flemyng as Rob Hart is good but I felt that this should been played by an American actor, someone like Michael Madsen, Michael Biehn etc. Rob Hart is one of the bad guys and Flemyng seems to have had a lot of fun with the character.
The biggest problem with this film is the script, it touches on some very interesting subjects like Swedish weapons export, corruption among Swedish politicians, private military contractors, but unfortunately Stefan Thunberg doesn't manage to fit the pieces together.
Too bad, because recently a new discussion has blossomed in Sweden over sales of weapons to Saudi arabia. Also and ongoing discussion about certain politicians and their connections to an oil company called Lundin Oil.
One of the largest stock holders is Swedish minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt. When two Swedish journalists wanted to investigate Lundin oils affairs in Sudan, they were arrested. Bildt has so far done nothing to release them.
All the above mentioned is touched upon but never developed throughout the film.
So a very flawed film experience but with higher production values then usual. So future viewers who expect this film to be better then Green Zone (2010), Shooter (2007) might be disappointed.
But it is worth a rental, mainly because of Persbrandts approach to Hamilton.