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Movie Review: Hanna

Posted on: April 22, 2011

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Hanna is a 2011 thriller about a girl being groomed to be a superior fighting machine, but we’re not told why.  No matter.  We become absorbed as this skinny teenager (Saorise Ronan) perfects the skills taught by her father.  The likeable Eric Bana is the teacher with a mission in mind.

The most interesting character here is played by Cate Blanchette.  The mysterious “Marissa” is an intelligence agency official who wants Hanna dead and is willing to go to extremes to accomplish that.  Blanchette plays her role with seamless dichotomy.  We find her repellingly cold, and we warm to her loving smile.  We want to like her bewitching side, but her steely side is working hard to win the day.

The mission begins, and you can guess what happens: fight scenes, lots of running, car crashes, intrigue, who-can-you-trust, why is Hanna hooking up with that tourist family, explosions…you get the idea.

Three of this movie’s production elements are worthy of note.  Hanna‘s cinematography is the best I’ve seen in this movie genre in quite some time, ranging from stunningly beautiful scenery to gritty (but not headache-inducing) action.  Along with that goes the lighting.  Indoor scenes are presented with the most attractive and dramatic effect.  And the music serves to connect the threads. The Chemical Brotherstechno-synth riffs complement the visuals perfectly.

Hanna is a movie without a message.  We don’t find out why Marissa is after the girl until the end.  The reason is not enough to justify the plot, but it doesn’t take away from our enjoyment of the story.  This movie is just two hours of entertainment; a shoot-em-up with lots of cool location footage of Europe.  If that’s what you need tonight, you’ll like this movie.  If you’re on the edge, rent or stream it – but only if you have wide-screen HD and a kickin’ sound system.

I give Hanna two-and-a-half plot twists (out of four).

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