Hamilton: In the Interest of the Nation (I nationens intresse) (Blu-ray) (2012)

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Released 20-Mar-2013

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller None
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 109:19
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Kathrine Windfeld
Studio
Distributor
Icon Entertainment Starring Mikael Persbrandt
Saba Mubarak
Pernilla August
Jason Flemyng
Lennart Hjulström
Aleksandr Nosik
Ray Fearon
Peter Andersson
Case ?
RPI ? Music Philippe Boix-Vives
Jon Ekstrand


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Swedish DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English (Burned In) Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     We have been seeing a lot more Swedish and Danish television and movies lately including things like The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo series, The Bridge and The Protectors to name a few. Obviously, the huge popularity of the Dragon Tattoo books and movies have opened people's eyes to what is available from Scandinavia. The latest product to hit home entertainment from Sweden is this espionage action film Hamilton : I nationens intresse or Hamilton : In the Interest of the Nation. The Carl Hamilton spy stories are based upon a series of novels by Swedish author, Jan Guillou, who began writing them when he was in prison for espionage himself. There are currently 13 novels in the series and this film is based on the third novel which was published in 1998. Many of the novels have been previously filmed for Swedish television starring actors such as Stellan Skarsgard and Peter Stormare in the titular role. This is the first big budget motion picture to be made from the stories but two more are coming in the near future.

     Carl Hamilton (Mikael Persbrandt) is a Swedish Secret Service Commander, basically a Scandinavian James Bond. As the film makes clear at the beginning Swedish Secret Service agents do not have a license to kill but can kill in the interest of the nation (hence the title obviously). He is a very cold and efficient man who displays very little emotion, which I understand comes straight from the books. In this film he is assigned to infiltrate a Russian mafia gun running crew who are selling stolen Swedish missiles to the Afghans. As the exchange is taking place both sides of the deal are attacked and killed by an unknown third force, leaving only Hamilton alive and the missiles in unknown hands. Shortly afterwards the missiles start turning up in Somalia and a Swedish missile designer is kidnapped. An organisation called Sectragon is called in to rescue him by the Swedish government. Hamilton goes along to ensure the safety of the Swedish citizen but things soon start heading in the wrong direction. The Sectragon team is led by Rob Hart (Jason Flemyng). Hamilton must try to keep the Swedish missile designer alive and try to track down the missiles.

     I was really hoping to find a Scandinavian equivalent to the James Bond series here with engaging stories, excellent stunts, excitement, action and humour. Unfortunately, the result here is quite flat and does not engage its audience with predictable plotting, lots of talking rather than action and a hero who is so cold and efficient that you wonder if he has a pulse at times, especially when a personal tragedy occurs and his response is to clean up and go for a workout. The story is also a little unclear at times, possibly lost in translation from the novel or Swedish. The acting is also quite stiff from the lead down although Jason Flemyng comes up alright. To be fair to Mikael Persbrandt the character is meant to be stiff and cold so it may not be his fault.

     I would refer to this as interesting in concept but hopefully the next film in the series will be more engaging.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The video quality is very good.

     The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 1080p HD encoded using the AVC codec.

     The picture was very clear and sharp throughout. Shadow detail was very good throughout.

     The colour is very good although some scenes exhibited lots of light colour bleeding especially those set in Sweden.

     The picture includes a little shimmer and motion blur at times, which may indicate an upscale from an interlaced image.

     There are subtitles in English which are burned in for non-English dialogue (which is probably about 80% of the dialogue).

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The audio quality is very good.

     This disc contains a mostly Swedish but also Russian, Arabic & English soundtrack in DTS HD-MA 5.1. This is a good quality HD track without being one of the best you have heard.

     Dialogue was not perfectly audible with some muffled lines and bad accents in the English portions. Obviously the subtitles translated other languages. Subtitles are not available for the English portions.

     The score is quite insipid which I think is a part of the reason for the film's lack of engagement with its audience.

     The surround speakers provided good directional effects during action sequences and atmosphere at other times without being the best Blu-ray has to offer.

     The subwoofer added shock value at times & supported explosions and action, plus adding bass to the music.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    No extras are included. Something about the novels or the plans for the film series would have been useful.

Menu

    The menu includes scenes and music.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    I can't find any evidence of UK or US releases of this film on Blu-ray although I believe there is a Swedish one but have no detail on it. Buy Local.

Summary

    A big budget Swedish James Bond that doesn't really hit the heights.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The extras exploded over Somalia.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Wednesday, April 03, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into amplifier. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationMarantz SR5005
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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