By Gary Murray


Starring Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett, Tom Hollander and Olivia Williams


Written by David Farr and Seth Lochhead


Directed by Joe Wright


Running time 111 min


MPAA Rating PG-13


Selig Film Rating Matinee


The thriller is the popcorn munching lifeblood of the theater.  While the Hollywood elite praise those little flicks that generate accolades, a great bit of action drives the worldwide box office.  Hanna is a thriller with a definite twist, a teen protagonist, and it is one heck of a fun ride. 


The story is of a young woman Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) being trained by her CIA agent father (Eric Bana).  He pushes her to be prepared for every situation and eventuality.  As much as he prepares her for something, he hasn’t given her much of an education in things most girls would know.  She knows nothing about music and friendship.  Dad tells the girl when she is ready it will be time to contact the outside.


When the time comes, a beacon comes across the CIA.  An intelligence officer (Cate Blanchett) wants the agent brought in and also knows about Hanna.   Dad escapes but they capture Hanna readily. It is a set-up and she easily disposes of the military men, escaping in the desert. 


She almost instantly befriends a family, using them as a cover and trying to get to Germany.  On the other side of the plot, Dad struggles to get back to Germany and back to his daughter.  All the elements fly toward each other and a giant battle in an amusement park, with some definite symbolic elements.


The film is a cat and mouse game where different characters try and capture our fugitives while the fugitives seek their revenge.  At the same time, Hanna begins to learn about all the aspects of the real world that she had never been taught. 


There is this ethereal quality to young Saoirse Ronan that just works perfectly in Hanna.  The elements that make her such an unusual performer come across with this winning portrayal.  She just looks the part of the lost little girl who knows so much but still knows so little.   


Cate Blanchett is one of the best actresses of her generation and she plays the bad girl with a chilling smile.  With her redhead bob, she oozes evil and chews up just about every scene she is in.  There is this gleeful relish as she tries to snare her prey.

Eric Bana is this stoic CIA guy but never finds any kind of heart with the role.  The reading is a bit flat and his action scenes are few and far between.  This is more of a battling femme warrior piece than some general action flick and Bana doesn’t have much to do in Hanna.   


There are some technical problems with Hanna, most in technical aspects.  The editing is noticeable, which is a definite sign that it doesn’t work.  The cuts are jumpy and jerky and never tell the story with the best angle.    At times the music is distracting, not adding anything to the feel of the film.    


While there are some great set pieces in Hanna, it does drag along in travelogue fashion.  The space between the great shoot’em up opening and the third act finale just takes too long to get there.  The pace never works. 


Hanna is a good movie, not a great one.  It has parts that are on par with great action flicks but others just drag along.  A fun ride but not much more. 

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