Tag Archives: joel kinnaman

HANNA (2019 – 2020) – My rating: 8/10


Because Hanna is a streaming Cable TV series each episode was directed by a different director as well as written by several writers. Each episode is treated separately with the continuous story of a different, sheltered, and gifted young lady. Of the TV adaptation, writer David Farr says: “I’ve always felt the film was weirdly male but knew this TV series would have a more female-centric quality.” I’m happy I choose to add Hanna (a remake of the original movie of the same name) to my playlist as it was an exciting series.


**** SPOILERS ****

Erik Heller (Joel Kinnaman) is a former CIA operative whose job was to recruit a very pregnant Johanna (Joanna Kulig) to participate in an exclusive CIA program, code name UTRAX. Pregnancy is the prerequisite to join UTRAX, which secretly enhanced children’s DNA with 3% wolf in order to create super-soldiers. Erik falls in love with Johanna who eventually gives birth to Hanna (Esme Creed-Miles). Erik, Johanna, and Hanna flee the program but Johanna is shot leaving Erik with Hanna.  He rescues Hanna fleeing the UTRAX program and the CIA.  In an effort to cover up UTRAX, the CIA orders their on-site agent, Marissa Wiegler (Mireille Enos), to shut down the project and eliminate all the babies. Currently, 15-year-old Hanna lives in a remote part of a forest in Poland with her stepfather Erik, who happens to be the only man she has ever known. Erik has trained Hanna to be an incredible killer and hunter on high alert, as they continue to be unlawed.

In season one, Hanna and Erik face many trials and tribulations.  Now experiencing adolescence, Hanna becomes curious about her very being.  She ventures away from her safe haven with Erik and learns much about the world she has been sheltered from.  Meeting new and exciting people, Hanna manages to survive while keeping her secrets intact.  She befriends Sophie (Rhianne Barreto) and even develops a crush on a high school student named Anton (Gamba Cole) who she meets through Sophie.  Many twists and turns fill season one with an adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

In season two, Hanna has a new friend that’s like her named Clara Mahan/Girl 249 (Yasmin Monet Prince).  They are in serious danger since Clara escaped from UTRAX.  One of the biggest twists occurs in this season.  Adventures take place in Northern Romania, Paris, and Barcelona.  There is an enormous amount of kidnapping and trust issues between Hanna and Marissa and the team at UTRAX. Hanna, season two focuses on deciding just where Hanna will end up.

I found Hanna to be a worthwhile series that is certainly entertaining, exciting, and suspenseful. It is very much like the original movie, I’m not sure that this is a bad thing.  I do know as more seasons are introduced, the storyline usually changes.  On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds an approval rating of 67% based on 39 reviews, with an average rating of 6.63/10. The second season holds a Rotten Tomatoes critics score of 93%, indicating universal acclaim. Hanna is airing on Amazon Prime Video with eight episodes each season, you might want to Check It Out!


SUICIDE SQUAD (2016) – My rating: 6.5/10

suicidesquadI tried really hard to like Suicide Squad because I’m into the whole super hero thing.  I have to admit, as much as I like super heroes and meta-humans, Suicide Squad was suicide.  Some of the most deplorable meta-humans you can imagine are housed in Belle Reve Prison for their hideous crimes.

INTELLIGENCE OFFICER – Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), the government official who gives out the Squad’s orders.  Ambitious and devious, she has big plans and intends to let no meta-human or military protocol get in her way. Davis stated she is fascinated by the character, singling out her psychology and strength and describing her as a “powerful black woman, hard, ready to pick up a gun and shoot anyone at will.” She described Waller as “relentless in her villainy” and noted that her powers are “her intelligence and her complete lack of guilt.” Davis read M.E. Thomas’ autobiography Confessions of a Sociopath to prepare for her role.

ARMY SPECIAL FORCES COLONEL – Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), a West Point graduate who leads the Suicide Squad in the field. He is all business and executes Amanda Waller’s orders but does not always agree with her goals or methods.

In the aftermath of Superman’s death, Amanda Waller assembles Task Force X, which is placed under the command of Rick Flag, to be used as disposable assets in high-risk missions to rid the world of other deplorable rejects for the United States government. Each member has a nano bomb implanted in their neck, designed to detonate should any member rebel or try to escape.  Task Force X is comprised of the following dangerous meta-human, criminal rejects:

ELITE HITMAN – Deadshot aka Floyd Lawson (Will Smith), an expert marksman and assassin. A mercenary by day and a concerned father by night.  Deadshot is a conflicted criminal who enjoys the hunt, but is still trying to do right by his young daughter.

FORMER PSYCHIATRIST – Harley Quinn aka Harleen Quinzel (Margot Robbie), a crazed supervillain and former psychiatrist. Producer Richard Suckle describes this character as “a fan fave. Funny, crazy, scary. … You can’t come up with enough adjectives to describe all the different things you see her do.” Robbie describes Quinn as one of the Squad’s most manipulative members, and her relationship with Joker as “incredibly dysfunctional”, adding that Quinn is “mad about him—like, literally, mad. She’s crazy. But she loves him. And it’s a really unhealthy, dysfunctional relationship. But an addictive one.

PYROKINETIC EX-GANGSTER El Diablo, aka Chato Santana (Jay Hernandez), a former Los Angeles gang member who has powers that allow him to summon flames, and transform himself into a monstrous horned demon-like entity. He has squelched his fire-conjuring powers to a solitary flame as penance for the horrors he inflicted on those he loved. Hernandez set his character apart from his teammates as he “just wants to stay out of the fight”, while “most of [Task Force X] are happy to get out there and kill people”.

OPPORTUNISTIC THIEF – Captain Boomerang aka George “Digger” Harkness (Jai Courtney),  a thief who utilizes deadly boomerangs, described as rugged, unpredictable and mouthy. About his role, Courtney stated, “he is an absolute bogan, in the purest sense”.

SPECIALIZED ASSASSIN – Slipknot aka Christopher Weiss (Adam Beach), A mercenary specializing in tactical grappling and scaling, who is the first member of the squad to be killed.

The following are significant characters who were not part of Task Force X:

The Joker (Jared Leto), a psychopathic supervillain and major love interest of Quinn. Leto described his role as “nearly Shakespearean” and a “beautiful disaster of a character”.  Leto never broke character throughout filming, with Smith going as far as stating he never met him.

Some FYI on the Joker:  In preparation for the role, Leto spent his time alone, listened to gospel music from the 1920s—commenting he senses “Joker may be much older than people think”—and read literature on shamanism. Influences for the character’s appearance include Mexican cartel bosses and the work of Alejandro Jodorowsky. Leto stated that he spoke with doctors and spent time with psychopaths in preparation for his role. The character’s tattoos were added by Ayer, who believed it gave a modernized gangster look to the Joker.

Dr. June Moone / Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), an archaeologist who is possessed by an ancient evil force that transforms her into a powerful sorceress. Unleashed after a long period of imprisonment, the entity draws the attention of Waller who intended to recruit Dr. Moone for the squad, Enchantress instead seeks revenge against mankind for imprisoning her and her brother’s souls in artifacts after years of worshipping them. Delevingne described Moone as “an adventure-seeker who’s always wanted some excitement” and Enchantress as “a feral being.”

Tatsu Yamashiro / Katana (Karen Fukuhara), an expert martial artist and swordswoman who mourns her husband’s death. She serves as Rick Flag’s bodyguard and wields the mystical Soultaker blade, capable of trapping the souls of its victims. As she is a volunteer, not a criminal, she does not have a micro-bomb implant. Fukuhara stated that Katana “has morals and codes. She can also slice through hundreds of people without taking a breath.”

GQ Edwards (Scott Eastwood), a Navy SEAL who assists Flag during the squad’s mission.

The dialogue was slick, ultra modern and a little strange in some places.  The special effects were absolutely brilliant and the plot was really out there with multiple routes to follow.  Most of Suicide Squad was too congested and overshadowed with too many crazy plots.  It was hard to follow however, despite the busyness, bits of entertainment shone through. If you are a fan of the comic book series you will probably get more out of the movie than a novice who doesn’t have a clue what they’re walking into.  I did like the movie but it’s definitely not for everyone.  Suicide Squad is available on DVD and Blu-Ray.

[Suicide Squad WON the 89th ANNUAL OSCAR AWARD for Makeup and Hairstyling]


RUN ALL NIGHT (2015) – My rating: 7.5/10

RunAllNightHollywood  may be fearing redundant movie plots.  Run All Night is not the same old thing but I have a problem with all the “Taken” films Liam Neeson has starred in.  I couldn’t stop relating Run All Night to his Taken character.  Lately, Liam Neeson seems to star in the same types of movies.  Aside from that, Run All Night has a decent plot.  A mobster, Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris) and his gang of thugs, including professional hit man Andrew Price (Common) go after hit man, Jimmy Conley (Liam Neeson) and his son Michael Conley (Joel Kinnaman) because Jimmy was forced to shoot Shawn’s son, Danny Maguire (Boyd Holbrook) as Danny was about to shoot Jimmy’s estranged son, Michael.   Michael has a pregnant wife and 2 children and drives a limousine for a living.  Because of this shooting, the two men have to team up for their survival.  Shawn is hell bent on killing Jimmy and Michael as revenge for the death of his son, even if his son was totally in the wrong.  The action is pretty good and the direction is thorough.  I enjoyed Run All Night but didn’t find it fantastic, just interesting with lots of excitement.  It has nothing to do with the Taken movies.   Overall, you wouldn’t be missing anything if you wait for the DVD.


ROBOCOP (2014) – My rating 8.5/10

RoboCop2014Having been around the block once or twice, I’ve seen the original RoboCop and all it’s sequels.  Back then the concept was new and everyone was excited about seeing RoboCop.  We all loved the way it bashed the corporations and effectively caught the bad guys.  Of course, Hollywood went overboard and made one too many of these RoboCop sequels and it didn’t do too well at the box office.  I looked up the original 3 on IMDB and found the 1st one earned a 7.5 rating while the second and third only earned 5.6 and 3.8, respectively.  Now 27 years later, Hollywood has decided to try it again.  With new technology available, how far can they go?  Well I believe they made a perfect remake that toned down the family ousting of the old 1987 version and the corporation criminal element.  In other words, Alex Murphy’s family wasn’t given the old heave ho and the corporation wasn’t kill thirsty.  Don’t get me wrong, the corporation is still about making money at any cost but just not so invested in killing all who stands in their way.  The hot wheel motorcycle Alex Murphy (RoboCop played by Joel Kinnaman) drove was truly hot.  The technical material that made up Alex, was pretty much the same as the original.  I loved that Gary Oldman, who usually plays the bad guy and Michael Keaton teamed up to represent the corporation.  I won’t say more about the film because I don’t want to give anything away.  It was exciting and entertaining and I recommend it on the big screen.