Studio/Distributor: Focus Features
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett, Tom Hollander, Olivia Williams, Jason Flemyng, Jessica Barden, Aldo Maland, Sebastian Hülk, Joel Basman, Michelle Dockery.
Director: Joe Wright
Writer(s): Seth Lochhead, David Farr (screenplay), Seth Lochhead (story)
Synopsis: Raised off the grid & trained by her father to be the perfect assassin, a teenage girl is dispatched on a mission across Europe, with a ruthless & hard-charging CIA agent, her field operatives and a sociopathic mercenary hot on her trail.
Bottom Line: With most movies, I was curious about this movie from reading the storyline and watching the trailer online: a teenage assassin unleashed on the world with federal agents hunting her down. The way I looked at it, the movie could either become a great idea on film or a laughably bad idea that would be a waste of film. Luckily, “Hanna” is the former, not the latter. At a time where most teenage action heroes (male and female) were trying to lure younger teenage crowds that were into Nickelodeon, MTV & Adult Swim with plotlines, casting and action sequences that could’ve been better off on TV rather than film, a movie with a teenage action hero like this couldn’t care less who they’re targeting for their audience, just as long as it told a great story and made a simple concept seem plausible & involving in an enviroment that looked as real as possible. The film opens up in the wintry wilds of Finland, where the title character, 16-year old Hanna Heller (Ronan), is hunting a caribou in the woods. Hanna kills the animal with a bow & arrow and finishes it off with a single pistol. Afterwards, Hanna engages in training with her father Erik (Bana) that consists of combat and memory, not to mention a series of back stories to tell strangers when she embarks on a mission across Europe to meet at a certain rendezvous point. Erik also has a box with a switch to have Hanna flip in case she wants to leave home. We are now introduced to one of the two villains of our story, CIA agent Marissa Weigler (Blanchett, in a slithery-as-a-snake performance), an American with the charming accent of a Southerner and the predatory determination of a wolf. Weigler considers both the elder and younger Heller an immediate threat to the USA. The agency quickly sends a squad to go after them but Erik has already left, leaving Hanna to use all her skills to leave the house and head out on her mission. She’s captured by the squad but it’s all part of the plan as Hanna asks to speak with Wiegler when she’s inside the CIA safe house in Morocco. However, Weigler is on to the scheme about the attempt on her life and knows that Hanna was captured too easily, so she sends her double to speak with Hanna, who instantly kills the double. Weigler sees what she’s up against with shock and suprise when she sees Hanna in action first hand as she makes a daring escape. Soon after running through the Moroccan desert, she meets a couple named Sebastian (Flemyng) & Rachel (Williams), befriends their daughter Sophie (Barden) & son Miles (Maland) and hitches a ride with them after telling them a fake backstory. Meanwhile, Weigler hires German mercenary Isaacs to find Hanna and bring her before Weigler, dead or alive. What happens after Hanna’s location is found out, Erik reuniting with her then fighting Isaacs and the climatic showdown between Hanna & Weigler, leads to spectacular action sequences that rival the “Jason Bourne” movies and then some. Director Joe Wright strangely blends fairy tale elements with action, drama and twists that makes “Hanna” a wild, weird & wonderful ride that you will not believe, but the one thing to believe is that the performances are brilliant, with Ronan & Blanchett being the standouts of the cast. “Hanna” is a one-of-a-kind & moving action-thriller like nothing you’ve ever seen.