Hanna (Review)

HANNA
(4/08/11; Action, Thriller)
Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana, Jessica Barden, Tom Hollander, Olivia Williams
SCR: David Farr, Seth Lochhead
DIR: Joe Wright
MPAA: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sexual material and language.
1 hour 51 mins
BOX: $44,953,470

Ronan adds a pulse and blue-eyed soul to this thrilling tale of 16-year-old raised by her father Erik (Bana) in isolation and trained to be a lethal killer. One would assume this film to be a combination of the Bourne films and Kick-Ass (2010), and that would not be far off. But what sets this European-flavored coming-of-age chase flick apart is the fact that Hanna has never seen anyone else, much less a “normal” family.

Watching Ronan go into the world and sift through her deadly instincts to form tentative connections is what raises this movie up several notches. Ronan plays her like an alien from space.

Blanchett is the corrupt CIA agent behind the effort to track down Hanna and Erik and we can tell from the get-go that she’s no damn good. But she also holds the keys to Hanna’s identity. Wright directed the costume drama Atonement (2007) but reveals some hidden superpowers of his own: turns out he’s a slick action director with a strong sense of how to combine a visual playfulness with sheer momentum. The pumping electronic score from the Chemical Brothers underscores all the slickery but never overwhelms. (Focus)

— DENNIS WILLIS

Author: Dennis Willis

Dennis Willis is an award-winning producer, TV host, producer, director, editor (he preferred Avid until a torrid affair with Adobe Premiere, and the rest is history), author and film critic (print and radio). Dennis produced and hosted the TV programs Reel Life, FilmTrip, Soundwaves (1983-2008) and produces the annual Soundwaves Xmas program. He is currently the film critic on KGO Radio in San Francisco, and a member of both the San Francisco Film Critics Circle and the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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