Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Hanna - Forest

There's a double-edge sword to consider when elongated a two-hour movie into an eight-hour series. On one hand you are able to expand and go into more depth than the original film could ever hope to have done. On the other, events can feel drawn-out longer than necessary by those who remember the pacing of the (far shorter) story. Although I like the idea of Hanna, the Amazon series adapted from the film of the same name, the first episode is mostly uneventful focusing on Hanna's (Esme Creed-Miles) life in the wilderness and one reckless choice which changes her world forever and alerts the outside world to her existence. Pretty much all set-up, "Forest" focuses on glimpses of Hanna's training by her father (Joel Kinnaman) far away from the prying eyes of the world after he and his wife (Joanna Kulig) stole Hanna before fleeing into the woods on a journey only Erik and his daughter would survive.

It may be unfair, but it's hard not to compare both the story and actors to Joe Wright's original film. One hour in, the show feels like a pale imitation of what came before (every bit a TV adaptation of a feature film). While I'd expect the pace to pick up in the next episode, the opener is a bit slow (other than the opening scenes involving Erik and Johanna stealing the baby from a government facility). We're also introduced to Mireille Enos as the shadowy agent responsible for the death of Hanna's mother and now interested in securing the young girl (away from the prying eyes of her superiors). Hanna's capture, sacrificing herself so her father can make it out of the forest alive, pushes the story forward as Hanna's isolation has finally ended and her adventure can finally begin.

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