Saturday, April 9, 2011

This Ain't No Hanna-Montana.

Directed by JOE WRIGHT
Starring SAOIRSE RONAN, CATE BLANCHETT, and ERIC BANA

Hanna is a good film and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It could have been better, but it could have been much, much worse. There have been so many terrible "assassin-in-training" films. In less careful hands, this film could have gone terribly wrong, but Hanna gets it right. It reminded me a lot of the original (and still the best) La Femme Nikita. The thing that Hanna get's right starts with the casting. Neither Eric Bana nor Cate Blanchett require any introduction in their respective roles. The always handsome, Eric Bana, plays Hanna's father, also named Erik. The breathtaking Cate Blanchett plays the film's villainess, Marissa Wiegler, a corrupt CIA agent. Seventeen year old actress, Saoirse Ronan, plays Hanna. Saoirse was previously known to audiences in Atonement and The Lovely Bones. She's somewhat ethereal in this film and very believable as rogue assassin Hanna.

Cate Blanchett as corrupt CIA agent Marisa Wiegler
Plot: Hanna Heller is a 16-year-old girl living in Finland, in a cabin in the woods with no electricity or running water. She lives with her father Erik, who is a former CIA operative. In the cold Finnish tundra, Erik teaches Hanna lessons from encyclopedias, several languages, and most importantly he teaches her how to fight and ultimately how to kill. Inevitably, Hanna grows up and wants to experience the rest of the world. In doing so, the quiet of Hanna and Erik's world is soon disrupted with helicopters and men with guns. Hanna and Erik soon become the target of CIA agent, Marissa, who will stop at nothing to find them. The mystery of Hanna's birth mother and Erik's past with Marissa lead to the film's final conclusion.

I would note that the film has some exceptional takes. This film includes scenes that are shot in one continuous take, some of which are complicated. To film buffs this was quite a treat. Along with the action, the fighting, and the pulsating soundtrack by the Chemical Brothers, Hanna is a really good film and worth the price of admission. As a final thought, I would say this movie has a fairy tale quality to it as well, namely Little Red Riding Hood. Hanna is Red Riding Hood, Erik is the Woodsman, and Marissa is the Wicked Stepmother. Needless to say, Hanna meets many dwarfs throughout the course of the film.

Eric Bana as Erik, Hanna's father (aptly named)
FOUR OUT OF FIVE STARS

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