- Published: Sunday, 10 April 2011 01:04
- Written by Lupe Haas
In HANNA, Saoirse Ronan is Hanna, a biologically enhanced 16 year-old trained by her ex-CIA father (Eric Bana) to be the ultimate assassin and escape the clutches of ruthless CIA operative played by Cate Blanchett. Once Hanna's is ready, her father sends her on a mission, Hanna journeys stealthily across Europe while eluding agents dispatched after her by a ruthless intelligence operative with secrets of her own (Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett). As she nears her ultimate target, Hanna faces startling revelations about her existence and unexpected questions about her humanity.
For Joe Wright's first action film, the Atonement (James McAvoy, Keira Knightly) and Pride & Prejudice (Keira Knightly) director brings his strong dramatic background to the action-thriller. He keeps the drama going through the action scenes. The action scenes are raw and powerful without all the fancy footwork and fast cuts. Wright decided early on to break with Hollywood-style fight sequences and shot most of the fight sequences with his young star Saoirse Ronan and Eric Bana in one take instead of cheating it in the editing room. The decision paid off.
The 17-year-old Saoirse Ronan is believable as a groomed-assassin who takes on grown men and the hunky six-foot tall Eric Bana. The young actress and Academy Award nominee (Atonement) reunites with her Atonement director for a more grown up role three years later. Saoirs is one to watch for as her talents get better with her young age. She has played very grown-up roles (Lovely Bones) unlike any other of her contemporaries or any adult actress, as a matter a fact. Eric Bana plays Hanna's father, an ex-CIA operative on a mission to exact revenge on his superior who killed Hanna's mother. Eric, as always, is a joy to watch on screen not only for his acting but his good looks which you can never get get tired of looking at. Cate Blanchett is a great villain as Marissa,the CIA operative behind Hanna's biological enhancements and the plot to capture Hanna through ruthless means. Marissa is void of any emotion especially any maternal feeling as we see during an interrogation with two children which made the character even more threatening. It's rare and refreshing to see two strong women characters in an action film.
The action is clean, the cinematography matches the mood with gray tones without the gloss and saturated colors. The locations are remote -- set in snowy woods, Morocco, and Germany which gives it a European flavor and sensability.
The score by the Chemical Brothers enhances every scene and captures both Hanna's emotions and the frenzy nature of the action scenes.
HANNA is a quality film that some may not appreciate since it's not your typical Hollywood action film where action is the star but in HANNA, story takes precedence over action. And that doesn't happen often in most films.