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Raised by her father (Eric Bana), an ex-CIA agent, in the wilds of Finland, Hanna's upbringing and training have been one and the same, all geared to making her the perfect assassin. The turning point in her adolescence is a sharp one. Sent into the world by her father on a mission, Hanna journeys stealthily across Europe, eluding agents dispatched after her by a ruthless intelligence operative with secrets of her own (Cate Blanchett). As she nears her ultimate target, Hanna faces startling revelations about her existence.
Hanna has the plot of a Hollywood action blockbuster but the style of a European art movie--and this unholy hybrid is fascinating to watch. Hanna (Saoirse Ronan, The Lovely Bones) has been raised by her father (Eric Bana, Munich), an ex-covert agent, for one purpose: to murder the American agent, Marissa Wiegler (Cate Blanchett), who murdered Hanna's mother. Hanna thinks she succeeds and escapes, but she's actually being followed by Wiegler, who will go to any lengths to exterminate the girl. Hanna could have been little more than a tween reboot of La Femme Nikita, but in the hands of director Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride & Prejudice) the movie spends as much time on Hanna's budding relationship with a girl on holiday in Morocco as it does on Hanna's capacity to kill. Even the action scenes have atypical rhythms (and one violent sequence occurs in a long, sustained shot that will make film geeks squeal with glee). Hanna is visually sumptuous, emotionally delicate, and completely unlike any other action flick you'll see. The ending goes flat as disappointingly banal plot mechanics take hold, but up until then, Hanna combines genuine thrills, unexpected complexity of character, and an unusual electronica soundtrack into an enthralling film. --Bret Fetzer
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It was wonderfully entertaining. It was about getting rid of bad guys. The characters are well done and I really connected emotionally with the father and daughter. Saoirse Ronan was amazing in this (and has since gone off and done even more amazing things).
The pace is slow but stays interesting. Clearly, the well-honed assassin was going to do something great (not awful). The spectacular cinematography is compelling while the story slowly builds to the point. The camera angles, changes in perspective, and lighting jumped out as particularly artistic.
Once the story gets to the point, the fight scenes were well done and kept real (no silly Kung Fu) but I had come to expect that Hanna would be a little more decisive in her battles. For all that training and being the perfect assassin, the fights lasted too long. The SIGNIFICANTLY less capable bad guys shouldn’t have lasted more than a few seconds. I accepted the premise that she was a highly honed weapon and suspended belief. The director/writers didn’t for some reason and went too far trying to make it too real.
But getting passed that disappointment, the chase, interspersed with character development and fight scenes, is suspenseful and entertaining. It has flaws, some quite irritating, but I still liked it. I wasn't inspired but I was entertained.
rather unempathetic genetically engineered girl who doesn't want to hurt anybody but.. if you force me. she is not as frightening as "Morgan,' but just as thorough, just as dangerous in the long run. The performance of Tom Hollander is the counter weight to Cate Blanchett. She is poorly cast here, why not just get an American who does a southern accent if you must have that. It is badly drawn. His character is frightening, a memorable badguy, all the worst attributes of Gemans rolled up into one little phsycopath. His pursuit of Hanna is disturbing.
Eric Bana is very good in this movie. I found him as convincing as he was in Munich, maybe more so, a simple performance but
complex in the confusion he feels about his role with Hanna.
This one is fun, because it is set in Europe and written for the European crowd.
I enjoyed the different themes that resonated with our brethren across the Atlantic.
The high point of the movie was the very well developed heroine. Hanna is truly a complex character, and she reacts in a reasonable way as her backstory is revealed to her.
Most of all, she was likable.
While I would not want to do dinner with her, it was fun spending a couple of hours.
Had "Hanna" (2011) been promoted for what it was, a relatively low-budget, live-action, PG-13 allegorical fairy tale; with a uniquely quirky performance by Saoirse Ronan, it would be better regarded by the movie going public. Rather than the minimalist promotion and distribution this type of film normally receives, for some reason the distributors decided that it had the potential to make big money.
So they threw almost as much money into marketing as had gone into production, sold the film as an action adventure suspenseful spy story, with another Chloe Moritz type hit girl. They utilized a saturation booking technique normally reserved for their weaker blockbusters. This technique involves a lot of pre-release publicity and then opening it simultaneously in many theaters, with the goal of generating quick profits before bad reviews and word of mouth kill attendance.
The result was a lot of viewers who rightly felt that the film did not live up to its blockbuster billing, and a failure to appreciate the good points of the film. And there are some very good points. Ronan's earnest portrayal of the title character, a juvenile assassin and good daughter, rings true despite being unlike any character in cinema history. Ronan manages to blend a bubbly enthusiasm for the newness of everything she missed growing up away from the world (think of a younger version of the Anne Francis "Alta" character in "Forbidden Planet") with the deadly but "fish-out-of-water" qualities of Arnold Schwarzenegger's "new-to-20th Century-earth" robot in "Terminator 2" (1991). Ronan has effectively played the bubbly stuff before, most notably in "City Of Ember" (2008). In "Hanna" she effortlessly slips back and forth between bubbly wonderment and analytic processing. These contrasting personas are delivered so effectively (and in so many languages) that the overall performance ranks among the best in cinema history.
And credit director Joe Wright with the vision to stage sequences and POV shots that make Hanna small and vulnerable, enough so to evoke a feeling of protectiveness toward her from viewers. Altman's "Kansas City" (1996) comes to mind, in which Jennifer Jason Leigh's tough talking gun moll created a powerful bond of identification with the viewing audience.
The film is a fairy tale and the good vs evil dynamic is more allegorical than precise. Cate Blanchett plays a high level CIA operative who functions as the wicked witch. Basically Snow White's evil queen step-mother masquerading as a cross between the Rosa Klebbs character in "From Russia With Love" (1963) and Nicole Kidman's character in "Golden Compass" (in fact Kidman's "Goldren Compass" character was also named Marisa). She is assisted by the versatile Tom Hollander, a Wright regular (Mr. Collins from "Pride & Prejudice"). Blanchett's Marissa is evil and menacing without the redemption dimensionality of Kidman's "Golden Compass" Marisa. Wright could have had much more fun with Hollander's character, but even so the minion is far more effective than his distaff master.
Wright is not trying to be plausible, if anything the story is more expressionism than realism. This becomes especially obvious late in the film when the action switches to the huge abandoned Spreepark entertainment center in Berlin. The park was closed in 1999 and the decaying fairy tale related rides and attractions are a production designer's dream. These become a key motif of the film, much like the abandoned Salt Air Pavilion in "Carnival of Souls". Also watch for the existential connection between Hanna and Laika, the Soviet dog-in-space; torn from their world to be passengers through a world in which they do not belong.
Bottom line, I am going to recommend the film. But with the advice to watch it for Ronan's performance and for its uniqueness; and to not try to place it into any neat classification.
Then again, what do I know", I'm only a child.