Hanna – Review
I didn’t care to see this movie at midnight. However, I did expect it to be really good. Why? Because when I heard about Hanna I was looking forward to seeing a Jason Bourne a la Mathilda from Leon: The Professional kick some ass as Hanna. Which by the way, Natalie, if you’re reading this… you should seriously consider the role of Mathilda when director Luc Besson comes a knocking again… ’cause you know he will. Anyways, Hanna made me feel all warm inside like when I look back at my childhood at all those moments that made me love life, friends and the world. Sarcasm folks – not that I’m bitter or anything but at the same time, Hanna also made me wish I had super human strength to fight off all the evil in the world too because in Hanna’s world if anyone would even look at her wrong, she would snap their neck like – BAM!
Hanna is the story of a 16-year-old girl, Saoirse Ronan, who has been genetically enhanced to increase her strength, her reflexes and make her incredibly smart. That’s pretty awesome all in itself but what the scientists couldn’t make her was any less a 16-year-old girl. She still has to go through puberty! Uh-oh! And that’s just it because at the beginning of the film we are introduced to both Hanna and her father, Eric Bana, in the middle of a hardcore training session out in snowy Finland kind of like a little Day in the Life of. She stealthily hunts a deer, shoots it (missing its heart!) and then guts it on camera. At this moment, the theater got extremely quiet and I felt people shifting uncomfortably in their chairs perhaps squeam-ishly… All I wanted to say was, “And I thought they smelled bad on the outside.”
Hanna is being trained by her father for an ultimate showdown with Marissa Wiegler, Cate Blanchett, a CIA agent out to kill her so that she can hide a secret past about illegal experimental human engineering. She has to “clean up her mess” which basically means destroying all the evidence relating to it including children, facilities, documents, you name it. There is a tiny twist in the story but it’s kind of obvious you don’t really notice it. Not that you miss it, it just might not even seem like a twist in the end at all. You expect it to happen.
During her training for this ultimate showdown/mission, Hanna’s father tells her that when she feels that she is ready, all she has to do is push a little red button to send out a tracking signal so that the CIA would discover their location. We soon learn that Hanna has been completely sheltered and isolated all her life and doesn’t have any real first-hand knowledge of technology. She has lived in a cabin in a forest for the better part of her life relying solely on books and her father for information. But what she does know, she has absorbed and she is keen and adapts quickly. One thing that bugged me in the film were some minor details that I felt could have been cleaned up. Was that really a deer she killed? It didn’t look like a deer but then again I am not a deer expert. Also, how is it that Hanna cannot turn off a remote control TV but can explore Google and learn about her father on the internet? Just a question.
I don’t like giving away too many details when I write about films but I do like to be candid and honest. I believe that all the actors did an extremely excellent job in portraying their characters. I especially loved Cate Blanchett. She has always been a favorite of mine and as Marissa Wiegler she did not let me down. She was ruthless and completely OCD but it really made her that character- that bad guy (girl)- that a person could really be scared of. Eric Bana kicked ass in this film but I would have loved to see a lot more of him and I wanted more of a backstory. Saoirse Ronan really shines in this coming of age sci-fi thriller. The scenes where she meets the family and starts to explore herself are beautiful moments in Hanna. I did like her more after that but I still felt like it could have been either pushed further or left out completely.
Just to be clear, although I didn’t LOVE Hanna I liked it better than some of Joe Wright’s other films. The Soloist… I mean really? But then again I absolutely loved Atonement. Hanna was somewhere in the middle for me. Although to be fair, both of those movies were completely different genres and should be critiqued as such but in either case, I still think that Hanna and the story of the film could have been told a lot better. Yes the character was built up but at the same time, the first thing we see Hanna doing is killing a deer and although that makes her bad-ass it doesn’t make me feel sorry for her or care about her more. Basically, I thought, meh she can take care of herself.
One more thing- Hanna, for me, played a lot like a really intense music video at times. I loved that the Chemical Brothers were involved with the musical score of this movie. It made for really hyped up moments and nail-biters. As soon as I heard the music get louder and more intense, I knew people were going to die in crazy ways. Hanna is a good entertaining movie to watch nonetheless, and you should see it.