12A – 111mins – Action/Adventure/Mystery – 6th May 2011
Hanna is not only the story of a girl who you would definitely not like to meet down a dark alley but also one of discovery as she learns to live in the real world away from the restrictions and rigorous regime that her father has bestowed upon her.
The story begins in the forests near the Arctic Circle where Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) lives with her ex-agent father Erik (Eric Bana) in solitude, hunting the animals and being trained by her father for a greater purpose that is kept from us. After they activate a homing beacon, US marines flock to their house where they can locate only Hanna. They take her in for questioning to a top secret base in order to discover the whereabouts of her father but find that Hanna will only speak to Marissa Wiegler (Cate Blanchett) the head of the operations (with her own agenda), who she knows by name.
This is where we discover first hand the true potential of Hanna as she executes Marissa’s double and the guards around her before attempting her escape from the compound. The movie follows her story as she then flees the scene in order to reunite with her father. All the while she is being tracked down by the warped and slightly crazed Isaacs (Tom Hollander).
As the movie develops you can’t help but feel somewhat sorry for her as all she has ever known is the confines of her father’s house and the encyclopedic knowledge that she has been taught as a bedtime story rather than the fairytales that other children are given. In some ways this is a coming of age story just from a slightly different angle than the norm as she adapts to a world that she finds alien and confusing.
Cinematography is hectic with the picture cutting, chopping and changing during fight scenes and supported by dramatic music (given to us by The Chemical Brothers) that adds to the action splendidly. This is then contrasted by long scenes that are shot with no cutting whatsoever which really allows for the tempo of the movie to help dictate the franticness of the action when it arrives. Locations, like the camera work, varies greatly as one moment you are in the wild in the Arctic or a desert before being transported to the urban landscape as a metropolitan city or a city from the developing world.
Things that did not quite work for me were the occasional plot holes and slightly unrealistic/unbelievable scenarios that kept popping up- can you grab the underside of a truck moving at 50 mph and still hold on because I know I can’t, the poor Texan accent put on by Blanchett who I would have expected better from and I also would have enjoyed just a bit more action during the movie.
All in all Hanna is an enjoyable little action adventure that will please on most fronts. In essence it is replicating one of the Bourne trilogy with a 16 year old girl and is not as explosive and action packed as some might expect but Ronan’s performance along with a mysterious undertone that parallels the story make it worth the watch.
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