Review – Hanna

Teenagers are ruthless creatures. They are cold and calculating, using whatever means necessary to get what they want. Hormones fuel every desire; teens can go days without food or water in order to make a point that they really need a computer in their room. They display all the traits that make the perfect assassin, with one major flaw. Teenagers are walking emotional time bombs, and the idea of one getting within metres of a weapon scares the hell out of me – something which sadly has not just been contained within works of fiction.

‘Hanna’ tells the story of Erik (Eric Bana) a man living in the wild training his teenage daughter Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) to be an assassin. Unbeknownst to Hanna, there are people that want her dead including US Government agent Marissa (Cate Blanchett). As Marissa closes in on Hanna and Erik, a cat and mouse game begins, and secrets long hidden are uncovered.

‘Hanna’ blends together two genres that are worlds apart. It’s a coming of age teenage assassin film. Bad guys are dispatched in brutal ways and first kisses are exchanged within scenes of each other. It’s a bizarre mash up that works surprisingly well.

Director Joe Wright flexes his action muscles and makes his mark as a master of suspense. All the action scenes are frantic and full of tension; I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. Wright has a striking visual style and the world of ‘Hanna’ is a cross between a twisted fairytale and a psychotic nightclub. There are elements reminiscent of the ‘Bourne’ films, but the point of difference is Wright’s ability to present Hanna as a character on a path of self-discovery. The film is laced with touching moments of innocence that contrast well with the violence surrounding the films main characters. ‘Hanna’ is a huge departure from Wright’s previous films ‘Atonement’, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and ‘the Soloist’. It’s great to see him evolve as a filmmaker and I can’t wait to see what he does next.

The Chemical Brothers have provided the score for ‘Hanna’ and it matches the film perfectly. Every scene is amplified to eleven when the music kicks in. It’s a concoction of electronic chaos that will get your heart racing.

The cast are all great with huge props to Ronan and Bana. Also worthy of mention are Jason Flemyng, Olivia Williams and Jessica Barden who play a quirky family unit. The standout though, is Blanchett, who takes a traditionally bland government agent role and turns it into something terrifying. She chews up every scene and gives a master class in creating a great villain.

The only time the film trips up is in its execution of the story. It does the hard work being different to other spy thrillers, but takes the easy way out explaining a lot of the big questions hanging over the film. The ending isn’t satisfying enough considering how strong the beginning and middle sections of the film are and it’s a big letdown.

‘Hanna’ is a decent thriller that will have you holding your breath till the end.


The Popcorn Junkie