Starring Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett
Directed by Joe Wright (Atonement)
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sexual material and language
Appropriate for ages 16+
Sixteen-year-old Hanna (Ronan) has spent her entire life isolated in Northern Finland, all the while being trained by her father (Bana) to be the perfect killing machine. When the government learns of her existence, Hanna must find and kill the agent responsible for her exile (Blanchett) or be killed in return.
Even in the parts of the movie I didn’t like, I was completely fascinated with every minute of this film. The story itself isn’t completely original since it is essentially the same basic plot as all three of the Bourne movies. But the telling of the story is completely original and rather breathtaking. You take a young girl who has never been exposed to the outside world, but who is very educated on it, and basically throw her to the wolves. Except that she is more dangerous than the wolves. The story, and moreover the mystery, is well told and extremely exciting to watch unfold.
Part of this movie is very much an art film. When Hanna is not kicking butt, she is discovering the things that all of us take for granted such as music, electricity, cars, and the list goes on. So in one sense it is a movie about self-exploration for a girl who is only intellectually acquainted with the modern world.
It helps to have such a talented actress like Ronan in the lead role. At age sixteen she has already been nominated for an Oscar (Atonement) and has placed herself as one of the premiere young actresses in Hollywood. To say she was perfectly cast for this part is an understatement.
Then you take Joe Wright who is quickly becoming one of my favorite directors. His talents in filmmaking can only be described as brilliant. He has an exceptional eye and an even better ear. Not since Spielberg and Williams has a director been able to so perfectly marry sight and sound. Although Hanna uses The Chemical Brothers rather than his go to composer Dario Marianelli (Pride and Prejudice, Atonement), the music is melted elegantly with the visuals on screen. While I wouldn’t think of purchasing the soundtrack for this film to listen to by itself, it matches the movie in a way that will leave you both thrilled and exhausted. A-