Hanna: Season 1, Episode 1 “Forest” [Series Premiere] – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Hanna Season 1 - Title Card
73.47% (5)

Hanna has decent action, and you may love Esme Creed-Miles as the title role, but it doesn’t have the same oomph as the movie.


Network
Amazon Prime
Creator David Farr
Director(s) Sarah Adina Smith
Writer(s) David Farr
Air Date 2/3/2019
Genre(s) Action, Thriller
Good If You Like Bad Ass Girls & Women

Secret Government Agencies & Programs

Watching Characters Who Grew Up In Isolation Be Introduced To The Outside World

Isn’t For You If You Feel The Need To Overanalyze Everything

Prefer Your Leads To Not Feel Overpowered

Don’t Like When Shows Skip On Certain Details Which You May Feel Need To Be Answered

Introduced This Episode
Erik Joel Kinnaman
Johanna Joanna Kulig
Hanna Esme Creed-Miles
Marissa Mireille Enos
Arvo Aleksandr Gorchilin

 

The Introduction

For reasons not revealed in the series premiere, Erik and his lady Johanna take a baby from a secured facility and run off with it. Unfortunately, the place where they take the baby, Hanna, from is part of some government program, and while the security at the facility is trash, the military which follows their inept defenses is not.

Luckily, Erik is a former agent, and while Johanna doesn’t get to see Hanna grow up, Erik protects and trains her for at least 16 years. However, thanks to Hanna’s curiosity of the outside world, caused by a boy named Arvo, she exposes herself and her father to the woman who has been hunting them for years – Marissa. Thus putting them on the run and having to separate for the sake of survival.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. How did Erik, if they are hundreds of kilometers away from civilization, and their car got blown up, have all those bullets for Hanna to train with?
  2. What does Hanna do when she gets her period? Just free bleed? Also, recognizing not all periods are the same, how was she running, doing tumbles, and all that while on her period?

Highlights

Hanna Seems Interesting Enough

Surprisingly, despite it only being about eight years since we saw Saoirse Ronan as Hanna, Creed-Miles takes on the role and nearly has you forget she didn’t originate it. Maybe it is because Hanna didn’t end up the high point of Ronan’s career, so it is rarely talked about. Perhaps it is because Creed-Miles manages to combine Hanna’s deadliness with an innocence which, unless my memory is failing me, Ronan didn’t get to access as much with her version of Hanna?

For example, Hanna’s scenes with Arvo are part of what sells Creed-Miles for the luster of women kicking ass, no matter their age, hasn’t been a big to do in a long time. However, balancing the idea of a woman being both strong, in a masculine way, but not losing some sense of vulnerability and femininity, the kinks are still being worked on that. So for Hanna to be strong enough to whoop Arvo’s ass, yet also have the mental and emotional strength to be vulnerable around him, even develop a crush, helps Creed-Miles, and you, forget about the previous Hanna.

On The Fence

Erik and Marissa Come Off So Generic

Erik (Joel Kinnaman) in 2018, after living in the woods so long.
Erik (Joel Kinnaman)

With that said, both Hanna’s father, Erik, and her hunter, Marissa, don’t bring anything to the show really. Marissa seems like she is from nearly any CBS crime show you can think of, and Erik is so generic that he’s like a security guard in any action movie you can think of. But, this is but the first episode, so maybe they’ll become more interesting in time.

With How Far Women and Girls Have Come Since 2011, The Action Is Lackluster

Between the original Hanna and movies that have come since then, women kicking ass has become a norm. Heck, with Kick-Ass coming a year before the original Hanna, it isn’t like a teenage girl kicking ass is that amazing either. Which is why a lot of the action doesn’t pop all that much. Even Hanna killing a deer doesn’t have any shock or awakening effect.

Yet, maybe that is the point? Erik is an agent, possibly an assassin, so no thrills kills might be his way of doing things. So, why would any of Hanna’s fights be all that exciting if the man who trained her isn’t pushing to shock and awe but simply knock out his opponents? If not flee, when possible?

First Impression: Mixed (Stick Around)

Marissa (Mireille Enos) in 2018, with her hair grown out.
Marissa (Mireille Enos)

Creed-Miles is what will ultimately make or break this show. We’ve seen more than enough generic white men, and middle-aged white women as heroes and villains to the point they are interchangeable. Making the only thing which sticks out here is Creed-Miles’ Hanna and her no longer working in theory but actually being amongst the general public.

Leading to why Hanna is being given a mixed label. With two characters that inspire little interest, fight scenes that have no wow or shock to them, as both a thriller and action show, Hanna begins with two major failing points. However, the character oh Hanna remains strong and someone whose journey you’ll want to stick around for. Especially if her interaction with Arvo is but a taste of what’s to come.


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Season/ EpisodeSynopsisDirector, Writer, and Introduced ActorsTopics & Focused Characters
Season 1, Episode 1 "Forest"Hanna has decent action, and you may love Esme Creed-Miles as the title role, but it doesn’t have the same oomph as the movie.
Creator David Farr
Director(s) Sarah Adina Smith
Writer(s) David Farr
Air Date 2/3/2019
Genre(s) Action, Thriller
Good If You Like

Bad Ass Girls & Women

Secret Government Agencies & Programs

Watching Characters Who Grew Up In Isolation Be Introduced To The Outside World

Isn’t For You If You

Feel The Need To Overanalyze Everything

Prefer Your Leads To Not Feel Overpowered

Don’t Like When Shows Skip On Certain Details Which You May Feel Need To Be Answered

Introduced This Episode
Erik Joel Kinnaman
Johanna Joanna Kulig
Hanna Esme Creed-Miles
Marissa Mireille Enos
Arvo Aleksandr Gorchilin

How Would You Rate This?

Negative Mixed Positive

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Hanna Seems Interesting Enough
85 %
Erik and Marissa Come Off So Generic
75 %
With How Far Women and Girls Have Come Since 2011, The Action Is Lackluster
74 %
New Jersey native Amari Allah has been writing reviews, in a "Media Advisor" capacity since 2011 and has been touching upon television, movies, books, live performances, video games, and more ever since. Using a fusion of his varied knowledge of entertainment, partly gained from being a Communications major in college, his love for visual and written media, as well an ever-evolving respect for both creators and the consumers they sell to.