The best family films to watch in the BT TV PlayerMay 30 | 2 min read
The first season of Amazon Prime Video’s Hanna was dynamic, explosive and full of bone-crunching action.
It leapt off the screen in a flurry of bangs, punches and high-kicks as teenager Esme Creed-Miles brought to life an extraordinary young woman, who had been given special abilities and training as a fighter and survivalist.
Hanna returns wiser after the adventures of season 1, but she’s also scarred by the events and losses she suffered in her battles with the CIA and Utrax programme.
Season 2 quickly breaks up the happy reunion of Hanna and fellow Utrax trainee Clara, who we last saw hiding out in the wildnerness, and transports the action to a new mysterious training facility called The Meadows.
The idyllic compound gives the girls from the Utrax training programme the social skills to match their terrifying fighting talents.
Lead by the eerily charming Carmichael, played by Dermot Mulroney, The Meadows invents identities, back stories and families for its students, which means that the girls can head out into the real world as trained killers while blending into the background.
Hanna and Clara face a battle with Utrax at the Meadows, psychologically and physically, as they find themselves in a dangerous and tempting new world.
Speaking to BT about the concept of The Meadows, writer David Farr said: “I got really obsessed by the idea that to create good assassins, they have to be able to walk into the real world, know how to go shopping, talk to people, buy a coffee and have a past that people believe.
That became fascinating to me and the other writers on the show, and I got really into how weirdly similar that is to our lives anyway – so much is created online, so much is created virtually. The notion that you could invent who you are is not totally alien to us anymore.
“It’s something we can accept and it felt bizarrely believable that these girls could get away with it, would buy into and also believe it. And then the big question is, ‘What about Hanna?’ Does she also buy into it? She could choose to accept her new identity, let all that other stuff go away, no longer be in danger.
“It’s a very seductive offer. But it fundamentally means losing who she is, which the question at the centre of the series.”
With a biggest cast, bigger philosophical questions and more action, season two of Hanna takes the show to a new level.
Here are three reasons you won’t want to miss the new season of Hanna...
New stories, new villains
The first season did a strong job of taking Joe Wright’s 2011 movie and turning it into a TV series. However, writer David Farr didn’t want to bring back the character of Hanna for just one series - he always had a plan for a bigger new story.
Season two finds the show expanding its horizons and ambitions as it introduces us to Dermot Mulroney’s new villain, Carmichael, and The Meadows, a socialisation camp where Utrax’s new young female fighters are given fresh identities, histories and family back stories before they are introduced into the real world.
Tackling much bigger subjects and questions than the first run, season two adds some extra layers of intrigue, emotion and politics to the globetrotting thrills.
Marissa Wiegler is still the show’s MVP
Mireille Enos performance as CIA operative Marissa Wiegler was one of the stand-out reasons we fell in love with season one.
Enos was chilling as the dastardly villain at the start of the series, but also had the chops to evolve the character into a more sympathetic figure who turned out to be Hanna’s saviour in a shoot-out finale.
At the start of season two, Marissa is back looking after her number one priority – Marissa. However, it isn’t long before her motherly instinct to protect Hanna draws her back into her path.
Enos brings so many layers and textures to the performance that viewers are never entirely sure which way Marissa is going to sway.
What sets Hanna apart from most TV thrillers is its white-knuckle action sequences.
Brutal, emotional and beautifully choreographed, the cast and crew do an incredible job of bringing a sense if authenticity and power to every fight scene.
Talking to BT TV about how the action comes together, writer David Farr said: “There is always an outcome, are you killed, wounded, traumatised.
"There is a classic thing people always say about action – something should have changed.
“It shouldn’t just be a group of people crumpled on a floor and it can’t just be, ‘they got away’. Something should have altered in some way. That’s our rule for action.
“We’ve all seen loads of fight sequences in Hollywood with amazing action, but they don’t work because we just don’t care.”
Hanna season two is streaming on Amazon Prime from July 3.
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