Film Review: Hanna

Hanna is a gem of a movie. Those who question whether the premise of a child assassin can be fun really need to see this film.

Sixteen-year-old Hanna lives with her father Erik in a very remote part of Finland. Former CIA agent Erik has raised his daughter like a soldier; training and teaching her everyday until she is ready to embark on her mission. Hanna must travel through a world she has never known, while being tailed by agents on a mission to capture her…

Hanna is an enjoyable film precisely because it does not take itself too seriously. The film begins sombre enough, yet finds amusement after the first section, which is carried through the rest of the duration. It is precisely the sort of attitude that absurdist thrillers should be produced with; Salt and others should take note. Hanna could have very easily taken a more serious route, but thankfully director Joe Wright does not attempt to elevate the film above its station as a fun action thriller.

The action sequences work well. The pacing in Hanna is also great, the film never seems to let up. Even in the less frantic scenes, there is an underlying current of suspense. Screenwriters Seth Lochhead and David Farr have done an admirable job in maintaining in aura of mystery about Hanna’s origins for much of the duration.

The editing and sound is too much of an onslaught during the escape sequence.  Thankfully this bombardment is only employed once; the other action sequences are less migraine-inducing. This aside, the film is well executed. The Chemical Brothers soundtrack complement the visuals exceptionally well, helping to propel momentum in key sequences.

Saoirse Ronan is excellent as Hanna. The young actress has already displayed promise in The Lovely Bones and The Way Back; Hanna takes Ronan another step closer to becoming one of the best young actresses of the moment. Cate Blanchett is a worthy adversary in the form of Marissa. The actress conveys the steely ruthlessness of the character. Eric Bana is suitably mysterious as his namesake Erik, while evil comes under the innocuous guise of Isaacs, played by Tom Hollander. All of the cast appear to be having fun with their respective roles, which shines through overall.

Hanna is a thoroughly enjoyable film that provides a benchmark which action thrillers should aim for. Few are likely to be left disappointed by Joe Wright’s offering.

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