When we first meet Erik, he’s stealing baby Hanna from what appears to be a hospital and going on the run with Hanna’s mother. They are being pursued by Marissa Wiegler (The Killing’s Mireille Enos) but it will be a few episodes until we understand why. Years later, when Erik and Hanna are discovered in the woods, they split up to evade capture and plan to eventually meet up in Berlin.
The Traveling Teen
Though built for survival, it’s tough for a young girl with few social skills and no exposure to modern technology to navigate her way across Europe alone. Additionally, she has a yearning to be a normal kid. When she meets a British family on holiday, Hanna gets a taste of what it’s like to be an average teenager. An average teenager who can break your arm and snap your neck in less than five seconds, but still. The series takes a fair amount of time exploring Hanna’s desire to connect with kids her age while she also searches for answers. Hanna knows little about her family and doesn’t understand why Marissa Wiegler is hunting her. This is where the action slows down. Stretching a less than 2 hour film into an eight episode series makes it difficult to sustain a full speed ahead, action packed ride.
Episode 4 is extremely important but drags as information is downloaded to the audience. Through flashbacks and conversations we learn a lot about Erik’s past and more about Hanna. Confession: I got bored and started messing around on Pinterest in the middle of the episode. Then I realized I had missed a big reveal and had to rewind to see what happened.
Haven’t I seen you somewhere before?
The casting of Hanna is solid if not predictable. Mireille Enos is making quite a career out of chasing people with The Killing, The Catch and Hanna all on her resume. Fans of AMC’s The Killing will recognize the reteaming of Enos and Joel Kinnaman. Though in Hanna we seem them as adversaries instead of partners. Kinnaman is used to the physical abuse of being an action hero with Robocop, Suicide Squad and Altered Carbon all under his belt. Speaking of under the belt, check out this goose grease moment.
As the titular heroine Hanna, Esme Creed-Miles is probably new to American audiences. Mostly having had roles in smaller British films until now, she is a refreshing new onscreen presence.
From Big Screen to Small
The film Hanna, which starred Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett, differs a bit from the television adaptation. Small changes, like moving the initial action from Finland to Poland don’t make much difference to the plot, but larger changes help to expand the story for television. An astounding discovery in episode 6 changes the direction of the series from the movie and begins the set up for Season 2. At the season’s end we find some of our bad guys still left standing who didn’t survive in the original film. Prime has already approved the next season.
Hanna is streaming now on Prime