Hanna, an 8-part series based on the 2011 movie, stars The Killing’s Joel Kinnaman and Mireille Enos, this time as mortal enemies rather than partners. In a Bourne-esque plot, bad guy Enos ruthlessly hunts down Kinnaman and his daughter Hanna, who have lived off the grid in the woods of Romania for the last 15 years.  During those 15 years, Kinnaman has trained Hanna to be a fighter in every sense of the word-with guns, fists, and even spycraft such as learning several languages.

 Turns out Kinnaman is ex-military, and used to work for Enos, who ran a secret CIA experiment taking babies and molding them into mindless killers.  Based on the opening scene of the series, where Kinnaman is stealing a baby from a nursery, we can deduce that Hanna is one of those experiments, and Enos has been looking for both Kinnaman and Hanna for decades.

 Teenagers Always Think They Know Better Than Their Parents

The plot kicks off when Hanna, curious about what lies outside her boundaries, sneaks out of the woods. Like any teenager, she didn’t believe her dad’s warnings that she never stray far, and sure enough, the government discovers her existence. They come fast and hard, and Hanna and dad get separated, but they have a longstanding plan to meet in Berlin should this ever happen.

 Here is where the show becomes similar to a Bourne movie, with some key differences. One is that Hanna is a teen, and we spend time (a little too much time, frankly) watching her have typical teen experiences, such as meeting a friend and falling for a boy. This subplot is there to show the ways in which Hanna is both the same and different (She kills people! She’s super strong!) from other teens. I ended up fast forwarding through most of episode 5 to get back to the main plot. Another difference is that Kinnaman has old army friends in Berlin who help him. It’s nice to see him have some camaraderie and levity, however brief. I’m a huge Joel Kinnaman fan, and he shines here.

 Definitely Worth Watching

Hanna is, with the exception of episode 5, a good ride, even though I have a few quarrels with plausibility, even after buying into the world of the show. It moves at a fast clip and we are definitely invested in the main relationship between Kinnaman and Hanna. Enos plays a scary baddie, with a hollow smile that barely hides her menace.  The plot goes in some interesting directions near the end, which is satisfying. The acting is great, except for a cartoon villain-like CIA boss that pops up mid-season. Just get that fast-forward button ready for episode 5.