May 232011

There is a plot hole the size of the Grand Canyon early on in Hanna. The good news is that the film’s action and its heroine, played by Saoirse Ronan, are so captivating that you’ll barely notice. Ronan is striking and commanding as Hanna, a teen girl raised somewhere in the remote wintry Arctic Circle and trained to be an assassin by her father an ex-CIA operative. Eric Bana is intensely efficient as the deadly Erik Heller who will do whatever it takes to protect Hanna. Bana should get his own action franchise.

Hanna surprises the audience by seamlessly combining an action thriller with a quirky road trip movie while always maintaining an undercurrent of danger. As the resourceful Hanna takes off on her treacherous journey the characters she encounters, from the family on holiday to the killers on her trail, are all three dimensional and real.

Cate Blanchett is the steely Marissa Wiegler, a CIA agent with her own hidden agenda who ruthlessly pursues Hanna as she fights to make her way to an assigned meeting point with her father in Berlin. Tom Hollander is cheerily menacing as a sociopathic blonde assassin in a white tracksuit Marissa hires to help capture Hanna.

Hanna instinctively attaches herself to a family on vacation, a couple and their two children. Olivia Williams stands out as the earthy, liberal but nurturing mom and Jessica Barden is hilarious  as her precocious teenage daughter, Sophie. It is Hanna’s first real encounter with a family unit and chance at a friendship. Through her relationship with them we see a brief glimpse of her vulnerability and innocence.

From start to finish its clear director Joe Wright has a singular focus and knows where he’s going. The editing and pacing are flawless with the action sequences moving at an exciting and rapid fire pace and the quiet moments allowed to breathe. The cinematography is beautiful and artistic intermixing gorgeous close ups with brilliant landscapes of a sun-drenched desert and snow falling in the woods to a richly hued Morocco and gritty, grey-green tinged Berlin.

There are certain moments in the film that defy logic but when you’re sitting in a theater and wishing you could rewind a scene so you can watch it again, logic becomes irrelevant.

2 Responses to “Hanna”

  1. Great write-up! I personally found the storyline with the family rushed and unsatisfying. Oh well.

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