Action / Adventure / Drama / Thriller


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October 06, 2011 at 04:42 PM



Saoirse Ronan as Hanna
Cate Blanchett as Marissa Wiegler
Michelle Dockery as False Marissa
Eric Bana as Erik Heller
699.28 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 51 min
P/S 10 / 76

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by gzuhgut 9 / 10

Slick, thrilling, art-house action film.

Having read some of the more negative reviews on this site, all I can say is that they all seem to have the same complaint in common. Namely, non-acceptance of certain plot contrivances.

So let me say straight off: if you are the sort of person who didn't like Inception because it made no sense, or the sort of person who didn't like The Matrix Trilogy because it made no sense, or indeed the sort of person who didn't like any of David Lynch's films because (ahem) NONE OF THEM MAKE ANY SENSE...in short, if you are an incurable pedant, you will not enjoy this film and you might as well stop reading this review. Seriously, stop reading, don't watch the film and go calculate Pi or something.

If, however, you have an appreciation for tightly-edited, emotionally engaging, aesthetically pleasing cinema with a brilliant soundtrack and at times breathless pacing, please allow me to take a few minutes of your time.

Hanna is the story of a teenage girl who lives in total isolation with her father. She has vague memories of her mother, and these memories, combined with her (literally) encyclopedic knowledge fuel her desire to leave the relative safety of her father's protection in the frozen hinterland of northern Finland.

In a way, I don't want to say any more than that. If you've read the other reviews on this site that give away more, then I'm very sorry for you, but if not then suffice it to say that her father's motivation for keeping her in this state of isolation appears to be protection, combined with a desire to train her in survival/assassination skills, in preparation for...well that would be telling.

Of course, you don't need me to tell you that she leaves her father's protection and the story proper begins. As Chekov said "One must not put a loaded rifle on the stage if no-one is thinking of using it" and boy, does that rifle get used.

Saoirse Ronan is brilliant as Hanna. At times seemingly invincible, at others pathetically vulnerable, owing to her complete inexperience of the world. We see the world from her unique perspective as she struggles to understand non-familiar interaction, the natural ease of recreation and even the basic electrical appliances that we all take for granted.

The story moves us from one location to the next, painting a rich tapestry of colour and culture, whilst simultaneously (and somewhat comically) contrasting Hanna's desperate need to traverse these territories with the bourgeoisie's seeming obsession with "experiencing" as many of them as possible.

The acting is solid throughout. The only truly great performance comes from Ronan, but Tom Hollander, Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana all turn out good performances that serve the picture well.

However the true credit for this film has to be laid at the feet of Joe Wright. None of his previous films could possibly prepare you for Hanna. Wright's mastery of both a tight, intricate plot such as in Atonement, combined with his incredible skill in making this beautiful, thoughtful, action-packed coming of age story mark him out as a director of real class.

It is true that Hanna suffers from a few plot holes, but that plot is delivered in such an appealing, exciting and above-all entertaining film that anyone who isn't compiling continuity errors for some god-awful TV programme that relishes in the fact that THIS ISN'T REAL LIFE, IT'S ACTUALLY ONLY A FILM!! should have a blast letting this film take them along for the ride.

If you want reality, watch a documentary. If you want a very good fiction, watch Hanna.

Reviewed by linustcr 7 / 10

Bad storyline coupled with great direction / camera / sound. Technically brilliant.

A 'different' movie. Bad storyline coupled with great direction / camera / sound. Technically brilliant. The net result is quite enjoyable. One does have to suspend disbelief to take in the gaps in logic, but once you do that, it's a good ride.

The entire movie is in effect a large chase, and the direction has brought about this element superbly. The camera work and sound kept me glued.

There seems to be quite a few reviews that talk of all the gaps in logic and reasoning in the movie. They are all true, but I found the high levels of technical brilliance more than made up for it.

In the end, not a 'great' movie, but one that I nevertheless quite enjoyed.

Reviewed by MFFJM2 3 / 10

Wow, was this a waste of money

This film was derivative of many other films including (Soldier, Resident Evil), with little new in the way of plot. The immoral CIA creates a program in which they are attempting to genetically create the perfect soldier by fooling with the DNA of embryos. When the experiment proves successful (huh..? Why shut down a successful program..?) it is decided for unknown reasons to end the project and terminate all those involved. Eric Bana, the CIA field agent who recruited the women for the experiment has a change of heart and tries to save one woman and her child. For no particular reason, except to give Hanna a reason to want revenge later on, the mother is killed by Kate Blanchett, and Eric Bana escapes with the infant. Bana raises Hanna as his own in an "arctic" cabin without electricity or modern conveniences, in order to prepare her for the day that she has to face the CIA and their henchmen. The day finally arrives when Hanna decides that she is ready. Bana digs up a transponder he had buried and places it in front of Hanna quipping that once the switch is flipped it can't be undone. Since there is no electricity in the cabin, and in fact Hanna has never seen an electric light, the method by which Bana got a battery to operate after over 14 years is never explained. Bana leaves Hanna alone to be captured by the dastardly CIA operatives. He did this apparently in order for Hanna to kill Kate Blanchett. Why he doesn't take Hanna with him, instead of leaving her to be taken by the CIA is left unexplained. Hanna is brought to an underground holding cell, the size of the Superbowl, in Morocco.

Strangely, Morocco looks a lot like the desert southwest of the US. Naturally, Hanna is more than a handful for the loutish CIA operatives and manages to escape through the ubiquitous air-conditioning vents which just happen to be her size. She makes her way to the surface, and just as she is looking out of a vast desert vista in broad daylight, Hummvees start driving directly over her head, apparently oblivious to the fact that there is an open submarine door in their path. As the last Hummvee passes the hole is shown as empty clearly showing that Hanna has managed to take hold of the undercarriage of the last vehicle as it passed at 50 mph, where she hangs on similar to Robert De Niro as Max Cady in the 1991 film "Cape Fear". Too bad nobody told the director about this same treatment by the "Simpsons" with Sideshow Bob. I'm sure I'm not the only one surprised by the location of Morocco for this CIA detention cell, instead of somewhere in the US. It becomes obvious later on when Hanna has the opportunity to show off her dexterity with languages, which wouldn't have come up in the US quite so easily. Also, since it was decided by the Director to have the final fight scene in an amusement park in Germany, the CIA detention center had to be someplace from which Hanna could conceivably get to Germany, without a passport or any ID.

At one point in the film Eric Bana picks up a post card at a post office, apparently where they've been holding his mail for the past 14 years, and there's a postcard from Hanna telling him in code she has killed Kate Blanchett, which is unfortunately incorrect. How she bought the stamp, mailed the postcard, or knew which post office Bana would be near is unexplained. The fact that all of this action takes place in a matter of a few days, makes the idea that a post card can get from Morocco or Spain to Germany in that amount of time laughable to anyone who has lived overseas.

There are several editing or continuity errors, like when Hanna kills the reindeer with a bow and arrow, but then guts a reindeer of approximately half the size, and then brings the originally sized reindeer home on a sleigh, apparently having made the sleigh from the raw materials by hand.

The choice of where and when to use blood spatter effects is also interesting. Hanna gets her face splashed when shooting people, and the picture in front of grandma gets covered when Kate Blanchett kills her (again for no reason), but the reindeer is remarkably without blood, even though Hanna is in the process of gutting it.

If you can willingly suspend your disbelief for this film, then you really have no disbelief to suspend.

The story is derivative, the characters are two dimensional and without motivation, the lines are full of cliches, and the violence is unrealistic. Eric Bana is supposed to be the Zen like trainer of Hanna, but he can't seem to handle a Aryan Brotherhood with a knife. I suppose 12 year old girls will like the scene where Hanna flips a Spanish boy who tries to kiss her, but her reactions were closer to that of someone suffering from anti-social personality disorder than of a normal teenager.

The fact that Hanna kills people for little or no reason would seem to suggest that she is in fact meant to be characterized as a serial killer, except that she announces to Eric Bana that she doesn't want to hurt anyone anymore, when all she really needs to do is to stop hurting people.

I found it disconcerting that Eric Bana had spent 14 or so years training Hanna to kill everything that moves, when the CIA was unaware of his or her actual existence. He could just as easily have changed his name and raised Hanna on a ranch in Idaho or a tenement in the South Bronx, but then there wouldn't have been as much of a story, as such.

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