DVD Review: AGENT HAMILTON (MHz Releasing)

by Dale Reynolds on August 5, 2017

in CD-DVD

Post image for DVD Review: AGENT HAMILTON (MHz Releasing)

MOVE OVER BOND AND BOURNE;
HAMILTON’S IN TOWN

These two hard-hitting spy thrillers, filmed in 2012, are based on well-known novels by the French-Swedish journalist, Jan Guillou (b. 1944), who wrote ten novels in all. There are other adaptations since 1989, starring among others, Stellan Skarsgård and Stefan Sauk, but these are the only two out on DVD in America (from MHz Releasing).

Both quite successful in their Swedish theatrical releases, the 95-minute films star Mikael Persbrandt as Agent Carl Hamilton, a Swedish super-spy in his late 40s. In the first one, In The Interest of the Nation, Hamilton works in conjunction with Säpo, the Swedish Security Service, investigating an attempted smuggling operation in Uzbekistan by a Swedish engineer. Hamilton, a major snooper, discovers an international arms conspiracy in the upper levels of his government, coupled with an imminent terrorist attack on Swedish soil. His loyalties are put to the test, but he courageously lets the interest of his nation take precedence.  This exciting episode was directed by Kathrine Windfeld from Stefan Thunberg’s screenplay adaptation.

The second film, more intense than the first, is But Not If It Concerns Your Daughter, where the kidnapping of his goddaughter, 7, by a cowardly Saudi prince, was conducted in order to get at the girl’s mother who is the head of Säpo, and a close friend of Hamilton. This brings back horrific memories of how his own family was wiped out by assassins years before. As the Swedish government is unable or unwilling to rock the diplomatic boat by stepping in to find and protect the child, it’s up to Hamilton to create a crackerjack team to track down the kidnappers at their desert fortress.

Adapted again by Thunberg, director Tobias Falk ensures that tensions are kept high, as Hamilton tracks down the kidnappers, chasing them across rugged North African terrain to save the child’s life, emotionally avenging his family’s murder.

While both films are scary, Daughter proves to be the better at ratcheting up the tension, with some snazzy martial arts and gunplay. And, interestingly enough, half of the film is in English, with four known English actors: Jason Flemyng, John Light, Steven Waddington, and Kevin McNally. The Swedish cast is also exemplary, including Saba Mubarek, excellent and sexy as part of his team, and Pernilla August as the child’s mother. The physical action is upscale in its look and intensity (beautifully shot by Jan Jonaeus), with a vibrant score by Philippe Boix-Vives.

Both films begin a trilogy that ends with Agent Hamilton: In Her Majesty’s Service (not to be confused with Ian Fleming’s tenth James Bond novel, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service). Released last year, I hope that it’s available on DVD soon, especially if it’s of the same high caliber as these two.

stills courtesy of MHz Releasing

Agent Hamilton
MHz Networks
released March 28, 2017
2 DVD set | 190 minutes | Swedish with English Subtitles | rated NC-17 | widescreen
available at MHz Releasing or Amazon

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