But Erik can't anticipate his daughter's stirring rebellion, which inevitably leads to her disobedience. In doing so, Hanna discovers the cold and warmth of the outside world.
So starts the new Amazon Prime action series Hanna, based on the 2011 Joe Wright film with Saoirse Ronan. Although the original is an underrated gem, the series builds the characters with greater depth, the action is more psychologically intense, and writer David Farr (who co-wrote the original) takes the story into more daring directions.
Hanna (Esmé Creed-Miles) has spent her life following her father's (Joel Kinnaman) rules
At first, we’re in the dark as much as Hanna is. She goes beyond the forest and encounters a teenage logger, with whom she engages in a small romance. He’s the first person she’s ever spoken to other than her father and her shyness is charmingly innocent, almost sweet.
But, on the flip side, she’s also a trained killer. There’s a terrifying imbalance between knowing everything physically and knowing nothing socially. Her interaction with others is like another form of training. Esmé Creed-Miles, playing Hanna, captures this contrast perfectly – creating something darker yet gentler than Saoirse Ronan’s original portrayal.
Hanna and her father get separated and she builds a close relationship with Sophie (Rhianne Barreto), a spoiled, English, Snapchatty teenager – the polar opposite to Hanna, who’s never even heard of a text message. Episode two spends time with the two of them, building a really heartwarming connection.
Hanna is as much a teen comedy-drama as an explosive action series, and it’s in these personal developments that Hanna evolves from machine to human.
Hanna is as much a teen comedy-drama as an explosive action series
The mystery behind Erik’s mercenary work unfolds slowly with every episode, and drives the series with intense and revelatory flashbacks. He’s being hunted by U.S. Federal Enforcement, led by the villainous Marissa (Mireille Enos), who’ve wanted to kill and/or capture both Erik and Hanna for 15 years. And Marissa is never afraid of severe bloodshed to get to them.
Joel Kinnaman plays Erik with a deliberate sense of retreat and mercilessness. He resigns a lot of his humanity as a stony, masculine soldier, but there’s still some intense emotion under his muscly surface. In this respect, he bares a lot of resemblance to Alexander Skarsgård, though lacks the same depth of emotion.
Hanna occasionally falls into some obvious traps – namely that both Hanna and Erik manage all too easily to slip from their enemies. But this is easy enough to ignore. The series is still an immersive piece of escapist excellence, filled with thrills and character across a visually exciting Europe.
Hanna will be available on Amazon Prime on Friday 29th March
|What||Hanna, Amazon Prime review|
29 Mar 19 – 29 Mar 20, 12:00 AM