Movie Review: Hanna

Hanna (2011)
111 minutes
Rated PG-13
Directed by Joe Wright
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett

Grade: B

Joe Wright is known for his previous period dramas such as “Pride and Prejudice” and “Atonement” but in this film he exchanges the romance for violence, something I personally have no problem with. Saoirse Ronan stars as the title character, Hanna, a teenage killing machine who utters “I’m ready” to her father Erik (Eric Bana).

Erik has been training Hanna in hand-to-hand combat and advanced survival skills for her entire life. What she is ready for is to finally be released into the real world and away from the snowy lands of the far north. All of this is strange, yes, but it gets even stranger when we realize that Erik is an ex-CIA assassin and a sinister Marissa Wiegler (Cate Blanchett) is after both Erik and Hanna.

“Adapt or die.” That is what Erik embeds in Hanna’s mind before they depart from each other. The second act of the film is scattered between Hanna’s fish-out-of-water situations in North Africa and Europe and trying to piece together the back-story while Wiegler is hunting down Erik and Hanna. It was troubling to figure out exactly where the movie was going, but to me that was one of its strengths. In this dream-like story it was suspenseful not knowing what direction the plot was headed.

There are a handful of excellent action sequences, particularly the one where Erik is being followed by a number of agents until the inevitable rumble goes down. Also the acting was great, with Saoirse Ronan excelling in the lead role. If she and Joe Wright team up again in the future, I’m sure they’ll produce another satisfying film.

One of the main problems I had with the film is how there were sections where the plot seemed to be meandering. There was about 20 minutes that could’ve been edited out and the more concise version would’ve been an even better viewing experience. But nonetheless, Hanna is an effective thriller with a very intriguing twist to your typical ruthless killer main character.


4 Responses to Movie Review: Hanna

  1. I hope to see this one day. I saw the original trailer but haven’t had the chance to see the movie. Thanks for the great review.

  2. Andrew King says:

    I have to say, the stylized actions scenes in this film are some of the best I have seen in a long time.

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