By Dave B.
In Amazon Prime’s Hanna (a television adaptation of the 2011 film of the same name), baby Hanna is liberated from a secret CIA facility in Romania and raised in the deepest part of the forest by her father, Erik. He trains Hanna’s mind and body to be perfect weapons, capable of dispatching any enemy without hesitation. But Hanna, as many 15-year olds are wont to be, is rebellious and wants to see the world outside of the forest for herself. Her father reluctantly agrees, but before they can end their years of solitude, they must find and kill Marissa, the woman in charge of the secret CIA eugenics program than created Hanna, and the architect of the death of Hanna’s mother.
I was a big fan of the movie Hanna, so I was cautiously optimistic that the television show would be decent. And it is. Most of the performances are good, the fight choreography is solid, and the character development is extremely well done. In some ways, watching Hanna is like reading a book: it’s a slow burn at times, but not an altogether unsatisfying one, for viewers who are patient. But Hanna is also very disappointing in some surprising ways.
For starters, although the fight choreography is pretty good, the fight cinematography is complete garbage. At times if feels as if some of the directors have never shot an action sequence in their entire careers. Sometimes the shots are gritty, realistic, and bloody. But an instant later, in the same sequence, it seems as if the directors get squeamish and reduce the quality of the action that they show to a generic level. It’s hard to describe, because I’ve never seen anything quite like it, but if you watch the show, you’ll quickly completely understand what I mean. My other complaint about the show is that there is just far too much focus on Hanna’s growth from childhood and isolation into adulthood and becoming part of the larger world. This could be done in a way that is interesting, but the show’s depiction of teenagers is so generic that it’s almost insulting. Yes, many teenagers are often driven by their hormones and make terrible decisions, but using that stereotype as a main plot device is lazy and, even worse, boring. The mystery and tension of the show is shattered every time Hanna has drama involving some boy or whatever.
Overall, Hanna is…decent. At eight, approximately 50 minute episodes, it’s a fairly easy binge watch, especially when the show is focused on the bigger picture of the conspiracy surrounding Hanna’s origins. But there are just too many parts of too many episodes that play as a run-of-the-mill teenage drama. I’m tentatively recommending Hanna, primarily because I believe that future seasons have a lot of potential. Hanna is an interesting character and could be more so, if her character is written with a bit more maturity or at least more of an ability to focus on her larger, life-threatening problems instead of stereotypical teenage issues. So, give Hanna a chance, especially if character development is one of the things that you’re into. But don’t expect to see anything ground-breaking in this one and be prepared to be occasionally exasperated/bored.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.