Movie Review: Hanna (2011)

August 9, 2011 in Movie Reviews, Reviews by pacejmiller

Hanna is not a great film, but it’s exciting and it’s different.  I’d call it ‘pretty good’.

Saoirse Ronan is mesmerising as the titular character, a teenager taught to be an assassin by her father (played by Eric Bana) — for reasons we discover throughout the movie — since the age of 2.  A corrupt CIA agent (played by another Aussie, Cate Blanchett) and her henchmen are after her.  That’s about all you need to know.

With this unique premise, Hanna already sets itself apart from the majority of Hollywood action films that get released these days.  Directed by Joe Wright (best known for period dramas such as Pride and Prejudice and Atonement), Hanna is surprisingly fast-paced, with its adrenaline-pumped action sequences playing out almost like MTV music clips on steroids.  With the thumping music, it reminded me, strangely, of Run Lola Run.

For the most part, I found Hanna to be a compelling action-thriller because of the mystery behind Hanna’s origins and Wright’s excellent handling of the material.  In lesser hands the movie could have been a mess, but Wright’s visual flair, combined with Ronan’s icy yet human performance, manages to keep the film afloat.  There are also some humorous, almost surreal comedic moments in Hanna which provide a nice change of tone.

That said, I’m not sure Hanna is a movie I would likely remember years from now.  It’s a smarter, prettier than average roller coaster ride fuelled by a marvellous performance.  Technically it is very good, but there’s really nothing about it that made me go ‘wow’.

3.5 stars out of 5