Hanna (2011)

April 17, 2011 By Mike B
Movie Review

What Worked?

An action film with an art-house feel, Hanna is a lethal adrenaline rush that is an acidic assassin fairy-tale. Joe Wright directs this film with slick style, and pounding action that calms our yearning for another Bourne film. The cast, especially Saoirse Ronan, give involved performances, and the fight scenes are well choreographed and crisp.

Joe Wright, known for dramas like Atonement and Pride and Prejudice, slips into the action genre with ease.  His direction is poetic and creatively cerebral at times, elevating the film just over the standard action flick. Silence builds the never-ending threat, and occasionally Wright puts the audience into Hanna’s skin with POV shots where we’re being directly talked to, a frantic introduction to the suffocating world of technology or a gentle sunlit breeze in slow motion. The action scenes, which are choreographed by the great Jeff Imada who uses the deadly art of Kali-Arnis Escrima, are brutal eye-candy, going well with the pumping sounds of the Chemical Brothers.

Saoirse Ronan is an amazing young talent that furthers her range with the role of Hanna. Letting out an animalistic battle-cry within the first several minutes of the film, we know that Ronan, as Hanna, is a cold-blooded beast in a human’s body. Her innocent sky blue eyes snap to cold steel when, like any other animal, she is being provoked to defend herself. As in the fight scenes, where she’s a deadly precise warrior, Ronan shines in the scenes where she’s trying to connect with people and becomes innocently humorous. It is also strongly conveyed that she is outside the reach of societal conditioning, as she has been disconnected from the world all her life, that her “first kiss” comes from someone unlikely. Additionally, Eric Bana, as Erik,  does a solid job playing Hanna’s father figure and Cate Blanchett, as Marissa, turns  in a fine performance as a wounded villain.

Hanna is a twisted fairy-tale that projects the alienation of a child rather well, in addition to being a slash and dash action piece mixed with a touch of Sci-Fi. Ronan proves once again that she’s a young actress to reckon with. The film works as efficiently as its main character, and sharply pierces the audience, just missing the heart.

Potential Drawbacks:

Hanna could have delved more into the characters to make it a more well-rounded film, but instead it just goes deep enough to be satisfactory.

Despite the wonderful acting, great visuals and pulsing soundtrack, Hanna doesn’t do anything too new to the story or  of the assassin.  Even the Sci-Fi twist isn’t utilized to its full potential.

For those expecting  non-stop, brainless action, this film is quite the opposite, as there is always a purpose for the action.

Film Recommendations:

Run, Lola Run
Bourne Ultimatum

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