Season 3 can’t break free of action-thriller tropes

Esmé Creed-Miles and Mireille Enos in Hanna

Esmé Creed-Miles and Mireille Enos in Hanna
Photo: Christopher Raphael / Amazon Studios

Throughout his three seasons on Amazon, Hanna has advanced an alternate version of the 2011 Joe Wright film of the same name, swapping the savage affair at the fairytale park for a more conventional battle royale at a super-secret government compound (is there any other kind?), and giving Hanna (Esmé Creed-Miles) nemesis, Marissa Wiegler (Mireille Enos), a change of mind rather than a fatal wound.

After essentially remixing the film in the first season, the show unites Hanna and Marissa on a standard mission to take down the various nefarious forces conspiring to maintain their iron grip on the world. The second season deepened the intrigue around Utrax, the teen super assassin training program, and now, the third and final round reveals the show’s wicked ending: turning off the brightest and most revolutionary young minds in the entire world, before they can bring about real change.

It’s a mission straight out of the Jason Bourne franchise, to the point of becoming too attached to the innocent civilian he’s supposed to protect and nearly ruining the operation. Still hidden as the bloody-handed golden girl of Utrax, Hanna reaches out to Abbas Naziri (Adam Bessa), a political activist whose speeches on freeing the mind from social media pampering and soul-numbing norms lead him to the top of the ranking. ready, only to fall for a dreamy young love, clinging to her waist on the back of a motorcycle.

As Hanna tiptoes into a new future, one soft kiss at a time, Marissa comes face to face with a meandering adversary from her past, Gordon Evans (Ray Liotta), aka The President Behind Utrax. There’s an encrypted computer drive, a race against time, an apple-cheeked kid in distress, the usual. And that is the problem. With just a little modification, there is nothing significant to distinguish this final act of Hanna’s story from the final episodes of a typical action thriller that features a John Krasinski cover or Chris Pratt’s sweat-stained face staring out. with a grim expression. determination.

Of course, one could argue that allowing women to play through the tried and true tropes of the action genre directly is compelling enough, why should Hanna I am expected to step where Jack Ryan or No regrets will not go? Still, it works like Salt and Atomic blonde elevated these tropes through rich and compelling characterizations as Angelina Jolie’s elite spy turned satisfied family woman turned rebel agent on the run (a famous part first written for Tom Cruise), palpably sore over the loss of his hard-earned domestic life even while drowning his enemies in chains. Or the truly iconic fight sequences of Atomic blonde– including a melee on the ladder that defies physics while retaining a claustrophobic and heartbreaking intimacy that feels unmistakably human.

This grand finale of Hanna it seems routine, a painting by numbers that has been hastily sketched. Creed-Miles is effective in Hanna’s moments of silence, whether it’s plotting against hapless captors or staring at a rival combatant; Over the course of three seasons, she has grown as a physical performer, going from a waif-fu practitioner in weft armor to a credible fighter capable of piercing a man’s chest with a corkscrew. But she has no chemistry with Bessa, who is unconvincing as a man worth burning the world for and poorly served by material: Abbas’s supposedly dangerous political teachings are innocuous enough to belong on a Twitter feed. by #Resistance.

Ray Liotta in Hanna

Ray Liotta in Hanna
Photo: Christopher Raphael / Amazon Studios

Very rarely, the show’s tight binary structure opens up to Sandy (Áine Rose Daly) and Jules (Gianna Kiehl), two of Hanna’s fellow child soldiers as they begin to consider the consequences of their carnage: suppressing the murdered Woman’s bloody face. Accusing her in the bathroom mirrors, Sandy wraps her fist in the barbed wire of the company’s line. Jules’ awakening is permeated with the unexpected empathy he finds for his goal, and the rise of his humanity, despite years of brutalist preparation against him, is a compelling thread that is never woven into history, simply tied in a frayed edge to offer. some loose closure.

The program’s reliance on emotional shorthand – the conscience-raising killer, hopelessly evil conspiracy, and incorruptible innocent – keeps it from extracting more complex and nuanced material, effectively wasting its best performers. Much of the dialogue on these last six episodes is an iteration of “we’re going to move” or “we’re on the move” or “we have to move.”

The show’s biggest deviation from its source material is the decision to bring Marissa back to life, and throughout these three seasons, Mirielle Enos has overshadowed the brittle wit and weariness in the character, making her determined huntress bow to a cunning penitent is totally attractive. . In previous seasons, Marissa’s slow dissolution with her life’s mission was in stark contrast to Hanna’s naivety. But the third season adds a cleverly concocted backstory, replete with the supposedly motivational grotesqueness of child abuse, that fails to infuse the grand drama it intended and instead feels like the writers ran out of plot for it, or that the story of a woman’s moral calculus is not convincing enough.

The subtlety of Enos’s performance: When Marissa discovers Hanna’s flirtations with Abbas, she informs the girl that they will be arguing, “matters of the heart,” in a tone that fuses a commander’s cold dislike for being disobeyed with nostalgia. of a mother remembering her own first love through that of her daughter, makes the awkwardness of Marissa’s latest arc incredibly frustrating. His relationship with The Chairman is almost immediately apparent and completely predictable before it’s revealed, and there are so many overtones of smug that even the most talented actor can play. For his part, Liotta is left with little to do but scoff, yell and stare at his targets with vein-filled rage. He and Enos are tasked with scaling an emotional mountainous landscape, but writing never supports them.

The tonal flatness of the writing gives scenes that should be absolute socks on the stomach from the emotional impact of light strokes on the cheek. Moments like the last scene between Hanna and Marissa are saved only by the tender relationship Creed-Miles and Enos have built during the series’ run. Flashes of every emotion that has passed between them explode like fireworks before fading into the warm night sky. It’s the closest the show has come to the raw emotionality of the film, while still being its own creation, more subdued but no less powerful, and it’s sadder still, that we only get it at the end.

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