|The Frankfurt-Tipp rating - Movie:|
|Original title:||Arne Dahl: Misterioso/Ont blod/Upp till toppen av berget/ De största vatten/Europa Blues|
|Genre:||Thriller, TV series|
|Direction:||Harald Hamrell, Mani Maserrat, Jörgen Bergmark|
|Production country:||Schweden 2011-2012|
|Running time:||Ca. 1474 Min.|
|Rated:||From 16 years|
|Number of discs:||11|
|Languages:||German, Swedish (Dolby Digital 5.1)|
|Picture format:||16:9 (1.78:1)|
Content: With his novels about the A-group, a special investigation unit of the Stockholm police, the literary scholar and author Jan Arnald under the pseudonym Arne Dahl has celebrated great successes and won several prizes. A film adaptation of the book series was obvious. Under the series title "Arne Dahl" the first five books were filmed as an international co-production. Two versions were produced for the Swedish market: a two-hour version, which was allowed to be shown in cinemas, and a three-hour version, which was shown as a two-parter on television. Five film adaptations have been shown in Germany so far, which have now also been published in a complete DVD box. In contrast to the two previous single boxes, all five episodes can now be seen in both the shorter and the three-hour television format:
Fall 1: Misterioso
After an attack on "Sydbank" in the small Swedish town of Avesta, a bank robber remains dead, a long dart pierces his eye. There's no trace of the culprit. There's no witnesses. The case can not be solved at first.
Independent of this, the team tries to find out who the next victim could be - which needs to be protected urgently. But the perpetrator is one step ahead of the police, and so they cannot prevent the fourth murder. Viggo Norlander, frustrated by the lack of success in the investigation and too much work on his desk, follows a trail in the direction of Estonia. The cartridges used for the murders were taken from the weapons arsenal of the Juri-X gang. Norlander takes unnecessary risks and is tied to his hands and feet by the corridor in an old factory building. He returns injured and shocked, but overall safe and sound. At least he found a lead: All the victims were on the board of a company that was obviously linked to the Juri-X gang.
Meanwhile in Stockholm three high-ranking entrepreneurs are murdered in quick succession. Jenny Hultin, the head of the Supreme Criminal Investigation Department, puts together a special unit, called the A-Team, for the occasion. One of them is Paul Hjelm, who because of his heroic commitment to a hostage-taking is not promoted as expected, but instead has to face an internal police committee. Hultin saves him from the threat of dismissal. The A-Team also includes computer expert Jorge Chavez, police veteran Viggo Norlander, freethinker and family man Aarto Söderstedt, pragmatist Gunnar Nyberg and excellent thinker and interrogator Kerstin Holm. Together they feverishly search for a motive for the three murders. There were loose business connections between the victims, and it turns out that they belonged to the same lodge society - but that only advances the investigation sluggishly. (Text: ZDF)
Case 2: Bad blood
Jenny Hultin's team receives an alarming call from the USA: A Swedish journalist was found murdered in a broom closet at Newark airport. The method of the act refers to the "Kentucky murderer" who has been wanted since the 70s. Apparently he boarded the plane in the identity of the Swedish journalist and will soon land in Sweden. The team immediately departs for the airport, but it is impossible to detect the perpetrator in the group of arrivals.
The CIA contacts Hultin and informs that the Kentucky killer was never apprehended and that the prime suspect, Wayne Jennings, was killed in a car accident over 30 years ago. After a break, the series of murders continued, so that Jennings was no longer a suspect. The method is cruel and was used by Americans during the Vietnam War: Small forceps are pinched through the victim's neck, vocal chords and spine nerves.
Investigators work under high pressure but have to watch helplessly as there are more victims. Paul and Kerstin concentrate on the USA. The house where Wayne Jennings lived still exists. From Sweden they get a live stream of how the CIA searches the house and finds a torture room in the basement. Paul suspects Wayne Jennings may have a son who continues the father's actions. At the same time, Erik and Justine Lindberger, both staff members of the Swedish Foreign Ministry, hide three refugees from the Arabic-speaking world in Gotland. Erik is murdered in the same cruel way as the victims before him. The suspicion is confirmed that the Lindbergers are hiding Palestinian terrorists. The team continues to grope in the dark and feverishly looks for a connection to the previous actions. Shortly afterwards, a shot young man and then another victim of torture are found in and in front of the storerooms of the computer company LinkCoop. Gunnar makes contact with the company's head of security, Daniel Brink.
The commissioners discover that the Kentucky killer at the time probably only faked the accident and is still active. It is still a rocky road for the commissioners to find the murderer, uncover the identity of Jennings son and save the refugees - not terrorists, but victims of American torture. (Text: ZDF)
Case 3: Wrong victim
The A-Team gets work again: In Holland a Swedish car with three passengers exploded: Karsten Mollström, his girlfriend Susanne Hörnfeldt and her daughter Lena are dead on the spot. The A-Team finds out that the explosives used indicate the Eskadron Gang, a Dutch gang specializing in drug trafficking and art theft. The colleagues also get the tip that Karsten Mollström is said to have worked as an undercover agent in Sweden. Mollström was commissioned to observe David Billinger, one of Sweden's biggest drug bosses, who hides his true sources of income behind noble restaurants. So is Billinger behind the murders?
In the meantime Sonja and her boyfriend Jovan, both waiters at the Goose restaurant in Stockholm, find out that there is going to be a major financial transaction, allegedly to buy a Miró. Sonja decides spontaneously to take the money and flees with Jovan. Billinger, who at first does not know who stole from him, gets into enormous difficulties. His restaurant flies into the air, and it turns out that the same explosives were used as in the first case. Severely injured, Billinger's brother Sverker goes to hospital. Billinger confronts him, and he learns that Sonja, his daughter, has obviously fled with the money.
At the same time Sara Svenhage, who has landed at the Reich Criminal Police Office in the Department of Pedophilia, is investigating against a child porn ring. She joins the A-Team when she tracks down a perpetrator on the Internet, whose profile can also be seen in connection with the colleagues' case.
Jorge Chavez, who found the hiding place of the Eskadron Gang in a hotel room in Stockholm, investigates on his own initiative and thus puts himself in great danger. He gets overwhelmed and shot. (Text: ZDF)
Case 4: Rose red
A policeman shoots an African immigrant to be deported from Sweden. Kerstin Holm is commissioned to interview the policeman who turns out to be her ex-boyfriend Dag Lundmark. During an interview break Lundmark disappears without a trace.
In the meantime a burglar breaks into an apartment where he finds a corpse with a suicide note. The letter leads to two more bodies in a swamp in Värmland. The A-group discovers a connection between both murders, which are related to espionage in the international pharmaceutical industry.
Kerstin Holm tries to track down Dag Lundmark on his own. Suddenly she realizes that he has stumbled upon a terrible secret and is just waiting for her to find him, which she manages in the end. (Text: ZDF)
Case 5: Deep pain
In "deep pain" a complex series of murders of international proportions keeps Stockholm's special investigators Kerstin Holm and Paul Hjelm in suspense. A long needle is stuck in his head: it is a cool, calculating murder committed against the renowned Swedish Nobel Prize candidate. But why does the almost ninety year old have to die so painfully? And what is the connection between his death and that of a horribly battered corpse that Paul Hjelm and his team discovered in Stockholm's Skansen theme park? There's only one lead the investigators can trace: Epivu. This strange word was scratched into the earth by the dead man of Skansen - and the other victim also seemed to have known these letters. (Text: ZDF)
Criticism: Although all five films offer extremely exciting entertainment and well-drawn characters, "Evil Blood" and "Rose Red" are undoubtedly the s of this first season. All in all, it is noticeable that the longer versions are without a doubt the better versions of the movies, despite some admittedly somewhat tenacious moments. Because even if the cuts have been made very carefully and there are no annoying logic holes, you still notice that something is missing. This also means that the clichés, from which "Misterioso" in particular cannot completely free itself, have a much more negative weight than is the case with the long versions. The family problems of the main investigators, in this case Paul and his wife, who later extend to their common son, which are so popular in Nordic Crime series, take a too big part in the first movie, which at the end at least clouds the very positive overall impression.
Therefore the long versions are to be preferred in any case, since they can spend beside the actual investigations also more time for the character development and can illuminate the effect of the work of the engaged policemen on their private life more intensively. A good example of this is "rose red". This case concerns Kerstin Holm (Malin Arvidsson) very personally in a very special way. This is shown to advantage much more intensively in the long version than in the TV version. Anyway, the movies get their appeal from the fact that besides the extremely thrilling stories the investigators are also interesting and multi-layered characters with many strengths, but also very human weaknesses. The fact that the criminal cases sometimes seem to be constructed somewhat badly and that some clichés are also used does not really weigh negatively.
"Deep pain" is a very good example of this. This case, at the end of which the future of the A group is completely uncertain, is taking place not only in Sweden but also in many other parts of Europe (including Germany). And stereotypes are really not spared. And yet the whole thing works, is extremely exciting and thrilling. This is not only due to the atmospheric staging, but also to the good elaboration of the characters, in whose fate one as a viewer only too gladly participates.
Thanks to the extremely sympathetic drawing of the main characters and their sometimes very entertaining interactions, as well as the captivating atmosphere, the films offer extremely good entertainment. Moreover, despite their small lengths, the stories are implemented in such an exciting way that even the small weaknesses hardly change anything about them. Especially the end of the first part of the long version of "Böses Blut" is such a thrillingly staged cliffhanger that you change the DVD in a few seconds in order to see how things will continue as fast as possible.
So the "Arne Dahl"-movies don't revolutionize the genre, but they enrich it with really worth seeing contributions. Fortunately, three more films have already been shot which will be shown in Sweden in 2015. It remains to be hoped that fans in Germany won't have to wait too long to see how things will continue with the A-group and whether they will still exist at all in their original line-up.
picture + sound: The A-group is allowed to determine on DVD in good picture and sound quality. While in the dark sequences there are some small point deductions in the overall sharpness, the visual implementation otherwise convinces with a good coloring you of a neat detail representation. The Dolby Digital Mix makes the dialogues sound easy to understand from the speakers. A few well implemented sound effects provide good dynamics in the surround range in the otherwise rather unspectacular events. Good!
Extras: The box unfortunately doesn't have any bonus material!
Fazit: The first five "Arne Dahl" adaptations around the Stockholm A-group offer exciting entertainment for all fans of demanding Nordic-Crime series. All five novel adaptations are absolutely worth seeing due to the sympathetically drawn main characters, the proper level of tension and the captivating atmosphere and can play out all these strengths perfectly especially in the long versions. The missing bonus material can also be merged here. Therefore, with small exceptions: absolutely recommendable!
Source: Sebastian Betzold / contents: ZDF