Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Review: Hanna


Directed by
Joe Wright

Saoirse Ronan as Hanna
Eric Bana as Erik Heller
Tom Hollander as Isaacs
Olivia Williams as Rachel
Jason Flemyng as Sebastian
Cate Blanchett as Marissa Wiegler

Have you ever gone into a movie or rented one with one type of preconception only to find out that it is fundamentally. Not how good a movie is, but fundamentally different at some point than you expected.

This happened to me with the movie Hanna. I am not sure exactly when the theme of a young female assassin took hold, but over the past several years there has been ample material to support the fascination. Anime like Gunslinger Girls is a great example.

I picked up Hanna with something along that line in mind. The namesake of the film has been hiding with her father deep in the subarctic forest. Isolated from all the trappings of the modern world, Hanna is being trained by her father in various forms of self defence and weapons. The reason for this slowly becomes clear when Hanna is finally allowed to travel into more civilized territory. She never get the chance as commandos show up to take her into custody. The balance of the movie has the feel of your standard action adventure movie.
Anna alternately runs from, captured by or is killing someone with supreme precision.

There are many twists and false starts and misdirection. There is more intrigue than say “the Boys from Brazil” or “Marathon Man” or even a classic like “Telefon”.

There is a real twist at the ending that I would be a spoiler for flipping it, however it takes a real jog into sci-fi.

But even that isn’t really enough to take this movie anywhere different. Don’t get me wrong, the action is aplenty and the twists constantly keep you off guard, and the switch up at the end is certainly a surprise, you certainly buy into Hanna being able to carry off the beatings she meters out, but there is a slight feeling of MEH.... Giving the movie overall an 8.

Now the extras are pretty good. There is the director’s commentary, out takes, alternate ending, enough that I wasn’t wanting, a good solid 8 here.

So overall, the movie is 8 but a high 8. I would recommend the film even without the sci-fi nod.

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