I Saw A Film Today… Hanna

I went in seeing Hanna with very little to go on, which is odd for me. For one it was not advertised a great deal. There were a few spots on tv but other than that, nothing. And these spots were rather vague about what it was about, but got the point across. Hanna is the story of a young girl who has near masterful understanding of hand-to-hand combat and other things typical of a assassin. But there is so much more to this film.

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Hanna Heller (Saoirse Ronan) has lived a secluded existence her entire life. She has lived in a cabin in the middle of nowhere. She has been homeschooled by her father Erik (Eric Bana). She hunts for her meals and goes without any form of electronic device. And she also learns how to be a perfect assassin. Erik is preparing her for a mission in the future. That mission is unclear though.

Finally Erik decides it is time for Hanna to fulfill her duty. He leaves her and within hours a team of CIA agents arrives at the cabin and retrieves Hanna. This is all a part of the plan. The mission: to kill a woman named Marissa Viegler (Cate Blanchett), which she does (or so she thinks).

Now Hanna is out in a world that is unknown to her. A world full of people, music, televisions, and the internet. She makes friends and travels to Berlin where she is supposed to meet Erik. She does all this while learning bits and pieces about her true past and being chased by a mercenary named Issacs (Tom Hollander).

Hanna is advertised as a first-rate action thriller, which it is, but there is so much more to it than that. The middle act of the film is more of a coming-of-age story. It is magical to watch Hanna interact with new things and befriend an English family, in particular their daughter close to Hanna’s age. Somehow director Joe Wright has found a way to make you sympathetic for a 16- year-old killing machine.

He has also found a formula that mixes action sequences with a great story. The plot is not immediately revealed to you at the beginning. It is gradually revealed up to the last moments and still leaves you wondering some things at the end. As for the action scenes, they are top-notch and well choreographed.

The performances are top-notch as well, for the most part. Saoirse Ronan gives an outstanding performance as the curious Hanna. I look forward to her future roles and exploring her past ones as well. And Eric Bana, who has always been a hit-or-miss actor for me, is just fantastic. He is outstanding in his action scenes. It should also be noted that Tom Hollander’s Issacs is probably one of the best villains I have seen recently.

Unfortunately I wasn’t all that impressed with Cate Blanchett. Her performance is a tight wire act between cold-blooded and ridiculous and she stumbles along the way. Her accent also has a tendency to change. For one part of the film she is possibly West German. The rest of the time she has an accent that rivals Nicolas Cage in Con Air for worst southern drawl.

Hanna is everything that Sucker Punch should have been. The lead is a strong young woman without the necessity of wearing thigh-high stripper boots and a mini-skirt. It actually has a plot instead of CGI action sequences strung together haphazardly.

Verdict: SEE IT!

Thoughts? Opinions? Leave them below.

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