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Hanna TV adaptation sacrifices magic of original film for typical teen angst

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Enlarge / Esme Creed-Miles plays the titular teen assassin in Amazon Prime's new series, Hanna.YouTube/Amazon Prime

An isolated teenaged girl genetically engineered to be an assassin must elude rogue CIA agents intent on terminating her in Hanna, Amazon's adaption of the 2011 film of the same name. It's a gritty, competent thriller, with strong performances from a talented cast, and has already been renewed for a second season. The problem is that no matter how much one tries to separate the series from the film, comparisons are inevitable. And in almost all respects, the TV adaptation comes up short.

(Some spoilers for the series and the 2011 film below.)

Not everyone was a fan of Director Joe Wright's original film, with its strange mix of espionage and dark coming-of-age fairytale. But it's one of my recent favorites for precisely those elements, driven by an exquisitely unsettling performance by Saoirse Ronan in the titular role. Ronan had this otherworldly presence of untouched innocence, combined with a ruthless hunter's instinct, as we saw in the very first scene when she kills and dresses a deer with just a bow and arrow and a hunting knife.

In the film, Hanna is raised in the wilderness by her father, Erik Heller (Eric Bana), an ex-CIA operative who trains her in all the skills she needs to survive—not just in their winter fairyland, but in the brutal world outside. We eventually find out that she was part of a government program to genetically engineer children as trained assassins. When the project went south, the children were all killed—except for Hanna, because Erik rescued her. Now the teenaged Hanna is ready to leave the nest. Her mission: to take out Marissa Wiegler (Cate Blanchett), the woman who ran the secret project that produced Hanna, who will most certainly have her killed if she finds out Hannah is alive.

What was missing from the early teasers for the series was anything resembling that other-worldly cautionary fairytale quality that made the original Hanna so evocative and memorable (even if those elements weren't to everybody's taste). It's missing from the full series, too, even though it recreates several key scenes, most notably Hanna's first encounter with a woman pretending to be Marissa and subsequent escape from the military enclave where she's being held. It's a pale reflection of the original. All the same beats are in place, but the sequence feels flat, lacking the same heart-pounding energy.

  • Erik Heller (Joel Kinnaman) flees through the woods with a stolen infant. YouTube/Amazon Prime
  • Heller trains a now-teenaged Hanna (Esme Creed-Miles) YouTube/Amazon Prime
  • Hanna defies her father and meets a cute boy, Arvo (Aleksandr Gorchilin). YouTube/Amazon Prime
  • Not a great end to an otherwise romantic evening: a special ops helicopter intrudes. YouTube/Amazon Prime
  • Erik and Hanna are discovered and must flee. YouTube/Amazon Prime
  • Erik is an ex-CIA operative from Germany. YouTube/Amazon Prime
  • Marissa Wiegler (Mireille Enos) is an agent seeking to take out Erik and Hannah. YouTube/Amazon Prime
  • A famous scene from the film version plays out on Marissa's tablet. YouTube/Amazon Prime
  • Rhianne Barreto plays Sophie, an English teen who befriends a fugitive Hanna. YouTube/Amazon Prime
  • Hanna finds romance yet again. YouTube/Amazon Prime
  • Ever watchful, even while bidding Sophie farewell. YouTube/Amazon Prime
  • "Bury Heller, bury the past," Marissa tells her off-the-books operative. Read More – Source
    [contf]
    [contfnew]

    Ars Technica

    [contfnewc]
    [contfnewc]

Tech

Hanna TV adaptation sacrifices magic of original film for typical teen angst

173Views

Your ads will be inserted here by

Easy Plugin for AdSense.

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Paste your ad code OR
Suppress this ad slot.

Enlarge / Esme Creed-Miles plays the titular teen assassin in Amazon Prime's new series, Hanna.YouTube/Amazon Prime

An isolated teenaged girl genetically engineered to be an assassin must elude rogue CIA agents intent on terminating her in Hanna, Amazon's adaption of the 2011 film of the same name. It's a gritty, competent thriller, with strong performances from a talented cast, and has already been renewed for a second season. The problem is that no matter how much one tries to separate the series from the film, comparisons are inevitable. And in almost all respects, the TV adaptation comes up short.

(Some spoilers for the series and the 2011 film below.)

Not everyone was a fan of Director Joe Wright's original film, with its strange mix of espionage and dark coming-of-age fairytale. But it's one of my recent favorites for precisely those elements, driven by an exquisitely unsettling performance by Saoirse Ronan in the titular role. Ronan had this otherworldly presence of untouched innocence, combined with a ruthless hunter's instinct, as we saw in the very first scene when she kills and dresses a deer with just a bow and arrow and a hunting knife.

In the film, Hanna is raised in the wilderness by her father, Erik Heller (Eric Bana), an ex-CIA operative who trains her in all the skills she needs to survive—not just in their winter fairyland, but in the brutal world outside. We eventually find out that she was part of a government program to genetically engineer children as trained assassins. When the project went south, the children were all killed—except for Hanna, because Erik rescued her. Now the teenaged Hanna is ready to leave the nest. Her mission: to take out Marissa Wiegler (Cate Blanchett), the woman who ran the secret project that produced Hanna, who will most certainly have her killed if she finds out Hannah is alive.

What was missing from the early teasers for the series was anything resembling that other-worldly cautionary fairytale quality that made the original Hanna so evocative and memorable (even if those elements weren't to everybody's taste). It's missing from the full series, too, even though it recreates several key scenes, most notably Hanna's first encounter with a woman pretending to be Marissa and subsequent escape from the military enclave where she's being held. It's a pale reflection of the original. All the same beats are in place, but the sequence feels flat, lacking the same heart-pounding energy.

  • Erik Heller (Joel Kinnaman) flees through the woods with a stolen infant. YouTube/Amazon Prime
  • Heller trains a now-teenaged Hanna (Esme Creed-Miles) YouTube/Amazon Prime
  • Hanna defies her father and meets a cute boy, Arvo (Aleksandr Gorchilin). YouTube/Amazon Prime
  • Not a great end to an otherwise romantic evening: a special ops helicopter intrudes. YouTube/Amazon Prime
  • Erik and Hanna are discovered and must flee. YouTube/Amazon Prime
  • Erik is an ex-CIA operative from Germany. YouTube/Amazon Prime
  • Marissa Wiegler (Mireille Enos) is an agent seeking to take out Erik and Hannah. YouTube/Amazon Prime
  • A famous scene from the film version plays out on Marissa's tablet. YouTube/Amazon Prime
  • Rhianne Barreto plays Sophie, an English teen who befriends a fugitive Hanna. YouTube/Amazon Prime
  • Hanna finds romance yet again. YouTube/Amazon Prime
  • Ever watchful, even while bidding Sophie farewell. YouTube/Amazon Prime
  • "Bury Heller, bury the past," Marissa tells her off-the-books operative. Read More – Source
    [contf]
    [contfnew]

    Ars Technica

    [contfnewc]
    [contfnewc]