Saturday, February 9, 2019

Pilot Review: Hanna

Hanna (Amazon)
Premiered February 3

If you asked me to list twenty-five or even one hundred movies from the past two decades that I thought might be worth making into TV series, “Hanna” would not be anywhere on that list. As I wrote in my review then, Saoirse Ronan, who has been nominated for two Oscars since its release in 2011, is a fantastic actress capable of many difficult roles, but the story of a girl who grows up in the woods trained by her father to be a killer just doesn’t work nearly as well in execution as it does in concept. Without Ronan, the appeal is diminished considerably. I haven’t seen British actress Esme Creed-Miles, who has just four film credits to her name aside from this show, in anything before, and she didn’t display all that much personality in this opening hour. What’s more enticing is the reunion of “The Killing” stars Joel Kinnaman and Mireille Enos, who I initially thought were playing Hanna’s parents but quickly realized were actually on opposing teams, with Kinnaman portraying her father and Enos playing the CIA agent set on hunting her down. Kinnaman achieved success for himself with roles on “House of Cards” and the renewed Netflix sci-fi series “Altered Carbon,” while I enjoyed Enos in a much more approachable and light role on “The Catch,” which ABC cancelled after two seasons. This seems like Kinnaman’s gruffest part yet, while Enos is going dark as well for her cutthroat and determined operative. Putting the two of them together, however, isn’t nearly enough to make this lifeless show come alive.

How will it work as a series? In the movie, Hanna bonded with a family and became a part of their dynamic, and this much more long-form journey seems destined to take an infinitely longer time to rev up its plot and get somewhere. Hanna and her father can only run through the woods so many times before it feels like the same recycled shot over and over.
How long will it last? This episode premiered this past Sunday for just twenty-four hours, and all eight episodes will be available in March, an interesting strategy that isn’t usually employed anymore by Amazon, which used to release their pilots well ahead of the rest of the show. There don’t seem to be many reviews available, but I suspect that this show is only going to last a season if its adult stars’ previous show had so much trouble getting renewed each year.

Pilot grade: C-

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