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Hanna appears under IMDb's recommendation section for just about every
action movie I was browsing. Seeing that the film got a 7.1/10 (at the
time) I decided to buy the DVD, which just freshly arrived at the
The film starts off well. We are introduced to a pretty Nordic-looking girl, seemingly isolated from civilization, trained by her father into being a cold-blooded assassin for a mission and a destiny we would soon find out. This interesting premise, along with the beautiful cinematography of Northern forests and lakes covered in snow instantly intrigues the viewer.
As soon as the beginning stage is over, the film goes down. I would not go into details of what's wrong, but plot holes, unnecessary scenes, unanswered questions plethora, absurd details that defy laws of physics and logic are what you should expect from Hanna.
The acting is in no way spectacular. Saoirse Ronan gives a flat performance that does not deliver the complexities of Hanna's emotions, while Eric Bana's and Cate Blanchett's characters do not get much screen time to begin with.
Overall, while IMDb's recommendations usually include worthwhile films, this is one of the rare let-downs I've experienced. If you decided to watch Hanna, it would be best to forget about IMDb's ratings and prepare to be disappointed.
Hanna is a (mostly) awesome action fairy tale that's unlike anything
else that came out this year. I love everything Joe Wright has done as
a director, and with a great cast like this (Eric Bana, Saoirse Ronan,
Cate Blanchett), Hanna already has a lot going for it before the first
frame rolls onto the screen.
With that said, it's not perfect. It feels a little superficial, as we never get anywhere below skin-deep with any of the characters (but, isn't that the case with most fairy tales?). The story of a dangerous person on the run from some other very dangerous people seems more novel than it actually is when it's a young girl as the main character. And there just seemed to be a little something missing that could have put this movie right over the top, especially with the ending, which seemed a little underwhelming.
Still, I liked Hanna. The action scenes are great, there's a continual sense of the surreal that makes the entire movie memorable, and the soundtrack is the best since Tron: Legacy. Good stuff.
"Hanna" is basically a strange blend of "The Golden Compass" (2007) and
"The Passenger" (1975); with a little "THX 1138" (1971) thrown in for
production design and atmospheric purposes.
Had "Hanna" (2011) been promoted for what it was, a relatively low-budget, live-action, PG-13 allegorical fairy tale; with a uniquely quirky performance by Saoirse Ronan, it would be better regarded by the movie going public. Rather than the minimalist promotion and distribution this type of film normally receives, for some reason the distributors decided that it had the potential to make big money.
So they threw almost as much money into marketing as had gone into production, sold the film as an action adventure suspenseful spy story, with another Chloe Moritz type hit girl. They utilized a saturation booking technique normally reserved for their weaker blockbusters. This technique involves a lot of pre-release publicity and then opening it simultaneously in many theaters, with the goal of generating quick profits before bad reviews and word of mouth kill attendance.
The result was a lot of viewers who rightly felt that the film did not live up to its blockbuster billing, and a failure to appreciate the good points of the film. And there are some very good points. Ronan's earnest portrayal of the title character, a juvenile assassin and good daughter, rings true despite being unlike any character in cinema history. Ronan manages to blend a bubbly enthusiasm for the newness of everything she missed growing up away from the world (think of a younger version of the Anne Francis "Alta" character in "Forbidden Planet") with the deadly but "fish-out-of-water" qualities of Arnold Schwarzenegger's "new-to-the-20th-century" robot in "Terminator 2" (1991). Ronan has effectively played the bubbly stuff before, most notably in "City Of Ember" (2008). In "Hanna" she effortlessly slips back and forth between bubbly wonderment and analytic processing. These contrasting persona's are delivered so effectively (and in so many languages) that the overall performance ranks among the best in cinema history.
And credit director Joe Wright with the vision to stage sequences and POV shots that make Hanna small and vulnerable, enough so to evoke a feeling of protectiveness toward her from viewers. Altman's "Kansas City" (1996) comes to mind, in which Jennifer Jason Leigh's tough talking gun moll created a powerful bond of identification with the viewing audience.
The film is a fairy tale and the good vs evil dynamic is more allegorical than precise. Cate Blanchett plays a high level CIA operative who functions as the wicked witch. Basically Snow White's evil queen step-mother masquerading as a cross between the Rosa Klebbs character in "From Russia With Love" (1963) and Kidman's character in "Golden Compass" (in fact Nicole Kidman's "Goldren Compass" character was also named Marisa). She is assisted by the versatile Tom Hollander, a Wright regular (Mr. Collins from "Pride & Prejudice"). Blanchett's Marissa is evil and menacing without the redemption dimensionality of Kidman's "Golden Compass" Marisa. Wright could have had much more fun with Hollander's character, but even so the minion is far more effective than his distaff master.
Wright is not trying to be plausible, if anything the story is more expressionism than realism. This becomes especially obvious late in the film when the action switches to the huge abandoned Spreepark entertainment center in Berlin. The park was closed in 1999 and the decaying fairy tale related rides and attractions are a production designer's dream. These become a key motif of the film, much like the abandoned Salt Air Pavilion in "Carnival of Souls". Also watch for the existential connection between Hanna and Laika, the Soviet dog-in-space; torn from their world to be passengers through a world in which they do not belong.
Bottom line, I am going to recommend the film. But with the advice to watch it for Ronan's performance and for its uniqueness; and to not try to place it into any neat classification.
Then again, what do I know", I'm only a child.
Having been trained, almost from birth, to be an assassin by Erik
(Bana), her father, Hanna (Ronan) is now on a mission to kill CIA Agent
Marissa (Blanchett). For the reasons, you will have to watch the movie.
Having seen the promos, I knew Hanna would be a killing machine. I took her to be either 12 or 19 as she had those moments and is probably somewhere in the middle, but what do I know?
I was hoping for a teenage Jason Bourne and there were some of those moments, but not enough. The movie bogs itself down when Hanna attaches herself to a family on vacation in Morocco. That was probably to show her loneliness in wanting to have a friend and she finds one in Sophie (Barden).
Hanna is not aware of all the technology in the known world and it shows when she gets a room for the night; but when in town, she goes into a store with WiFi and masters the computer like she lived and breathed it every teenage day. Go figure, but not a deal breaker.
We all know the music in any movie associates with what is happening on the screen, but in here you are in for quite a treat. This is hard to explain but music almost becomes what you see on the screen. Like I said, hard to explain. Very good. Kudos.
The entire cast performed well, but Cate Blanchett should stay away from roles like a tough, unforgiving CIA Agent. Oh, she did okay, but you could tell this was not her cup of tea. Miscast? Hmmmm
The cinematography and photography are outstanding, especially in the beginning when you gaze upon trees heavy with snow. You almost wished the camera would have lingered longer. The scenes were that good.
You like Hanna and wish her the best and hope she finds the answers to her questions as to who she really is, as well as finding Marissa. You will see her skill with all kinds of weapons, but has a tendency to miss the heart of the intended target, but she finds a way to take care of that. All in all, she will get to you.
I would like to see a movie with Hanna meeting Jason Bourne. HA !
Violence: Yes.\ Sex: No. Nudity: No. Language: Only one F-bomb was heard somewhere in the beginning.
Hanna is directed by Joe Wright and written by David Farr and Seth
Lochhead. It stars Saoirse Ronan, Eric Banna, Tom Hollander, Olivia
Williams, Jason Flemyng and Cate Blanchett. Music is by The Chemical
Brothers and cinematography by Alwin H. Kuchler.
Hanna Heller (Ronan) is a 16 year old highly trained assassin on the run from the CIA
Heralded by some British critics as original and thrilling, Joe Wright's Hanna is neither. It's a gimmick movie dressed up as cool for the kids fodder that is both boring and cheesy. Taking the gimmick aside, that of a 16 year old crack assassin girl slotting all who come in her way, it starts off promisingly enough as we meet Hanna and her father Erik (Banna) out in the wilderness. There's training, a believable bond (both Ronan and Banna don't disgrace themselves) and the wintry landscape bites hard as we wonder what is in store.
Then the film shifts to Hanna being on the run, where the back story guff is just, well, guff, and the pace crawls to a standstill. Blanchett's (badly miscast) CIA operative is in pursuit, with that back story guff tattooed on her forehead, and it tries to gain momentum for the inevitable showdown between the big bad bitch and the little china doll killer. The Chemical Brothers drip their brand of techno beats over it, which is OK if you like that sort of thing. How cool?!
In the middle passages Hanna rides along with a Hippy family, with Flemyng is also badly miscast, and there's some cack-handed attempt at humanising poor Hanna as she comes alive in the big old world. It's derivative in premise, boring in execution and designed make teenagers think they are watching a masterpiece for their generation.
The amusement park finale is well staged, location photography is pleasing enough in that hip-euro way, and Banna and Ronan work hard to keep it from total damnation. But for much of its near two hour run time it's a butt numbing bore that has ideas far above its station. Joe Wright should stick to making Keira Knightley look good. 4/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Just about everyone giving the film bad grades complains that it is
unrealistic. Hanna is too weak, kills commandos in a second and fails
to deal with unarmed punks, moves from one part of the world to another
without credible transport and is inexplicably raised in the wilderness
rather than in some backwater farm in Texas where she would have been
equally well protected. And so on.
Well duh. It is fiction in the style of comic books and fairy tales, and not really meant to be realistic. Please grade in relation to genre.
What you get is an action packed, suggestive film with a powerful soundtrack. Most of the scenes are shot in interesting ways, and almost every still frame tells a story in itself. It won't change your life, but it will make for a thoroughly enjoyable evening if you can detach from "realism".
I wouldn't have considered the director behind Pride and Prejudice and Atonement to be a logical choice to helm a globe-trotting assassin tale. I would be wrong. Joe Wright brings a wonderfully eclectic bag of tricks to this story of a 16 y.o. girl, Hanna (played superbly by Saoirse Ronan), who is brought up in the forest to be a lethal killer by her CIA-defecting father (Eric Bana). The narrative is intriguing (even if the ending is anti-climactic), the action is frenetically hypnotic a one-continuous-take sequence involving Bana despatching multiple agents is utterly brilliant and the visual style which Wright adopts is a fresh of breath air. Usually unnoticed in most movies, the mesmeric sound design merits a mention here; the combination of heightened noises and a heart-pounding score create a sensational atmosphere that drives Hanna.
Before I watched this movie I looked at a few trailers and pretty much
had a good understanding what it would be about. And to be honest, the
story turned out that way also. BUT, it was still so much better. And
let me tell you why.
Even though we have seen parts of the storyline in many other movies, I am so impressed with how they managed to make this so interesting. The script is amazing, and even though you pretty much know what will happen, every scene in the movie still has a little twist in some way. Maybe a scene turned out more brutal than you expected, or maybe someone said something that was not really the textbook answer you always get. All through the movie I kept getting a feeling of "wow" and "oh" if you know what I mean. Also I am impressed with how Joe Wright was able to captivate the audience in every scene. It felt like every angle was so perfectly thought of in advance which brought so much quality feel to the movie.
Saoirse Ronan pretty much has become my favorite female actress. She is only 17 but acts better then most Hollywood bigshots. She is so natural in her acting, and you really believe she is Hanna. Even though it was a great script, I don't think it would have been such a great experience without Saoirse.
I am sure most people will think this is a great movie. It really offers something for everyone and I promise you, you won't be disappointed. I for sure hope we will see a sequel to this.
Wow. This movie was some kind of awesome. From frame one, this movie
completely enthralled me. It's a top-notch thriller that doesn't
sacrifice its human side for the sake of explosions, chases, and fight
scenes. At it's core, there's a very complex character that's both
interesting and sympathetic. Unfortunately, seeing how small the number
of people in the theater was on the night I saw this, it seems that a
lot of people will miss out on this awesome, awesome movie. Hopefully
the reviews here can help you change peoples' mind.
The story begins by showing Hanna, a physically sharp teenage girl with a mysterious past, hunting a deer. Her father eventually explains that a government agent named Marissa Weigler is searching for her. He's been training her for her entire life so that she can take on Weigler. If she flicks a switch, Marissa Weigler will know where they are, and an intensely rehearsed plan to kill her and live life without any potential harm will begin. Unfortunately, not everything goes as planned, and as Hanna tries to reach her father after she's escaped capture, the hunt begins.
First of all, let's discuss the technical aspects of this movie. After seeing three of Joe Wright's movies, it's clear that this man has an enormous hard-on for cinematography, and I thank him for it. There are so many beautiful shots and flashy camera-techniques in this movie. All of them fit the specific moments in which they exist, but they all blend together very well. The best looking scenes are the scenes in the snow-laden forest. Of course, the cinematography would fall apart without proper editing, and holy cow do they nail it. I don't know who edited this film, but he did a FANTASTIC job. In all honesty, this deserves an Oscar nod for editing. The movie is filled with quick cuts, and they make the action scenes much more shocking than they would otherwise be. There's a scene early in the film where Hanna kills a group of guards (won't spoil why or where) and shoots all of the cameras in the room, and the way it's edited makes you jump with every gun shot.
The acting here is is superb. Saoirse Ronan gives an incredibly dynamic performance as always. She's a great young talent that has shown us several times now that she's a force to be reckoned with. Kate Blanchett gives a great performance as well. She gives a performance that is both cold and emotional when necessary. Eric Bana gives a surprisingly good performance as Eric, Hanna's father. It's not a huge stretch for him, but he certainly does a good job. The actors playing some of the lesser side-characters also do a great job, although the actress playing Hanna's new friend Sophie got on my nerves at times. Sophie's mother, however, is played by the lovely Olivia Williams, probably best known to you from Roman Polanski's Ghost Writer. Jason Flemming makes an excellent supporting villain. He has both charm and a wickedness that makes you want to smash him across the face with a crowbar.
I was looking forward to this movie quite a bit, so to prepare, I boycotted reviews for about a week. After I saw the film and liked it so much, I HAD to see if critics agreed. I was disappointed to see that that didn't.A lot of people seem to think that this has a ridiculous plot and a hollow story. I'm not usually the kind to say this, but screw the critics; they're idiots. Don't be fooled by their opinions. I hate to be the one to say that some people didn't understand this movie because I think that that's a bit holier-than-thou. However, I have to say it here: this movie went over their heads. If you pay attention to the relationship between all of the characters, you'll understand why this plot unfolded the way it did and the motivations behind the characters. In fact, the film works even better because of that. This movie is a bit like a trail of dominos that form a picture when they've all fallen; you won't understand the point of it all until every last domino has fallen.
What can I say? This movie was phenomenal. I went in with enormous expectations and was completely blown away. This movie has so many elements sewn into it that fondly remind me of my favorite films. It has everything I want in a movie and more. It finds the perfect balance of honest emotion and thrilling action. The result is a knock-out. This movie may very well end up on my Best of the Year list. Honestly, I haven't enjoyed seeing a movie in the theater this much since I saw Inception for the first time.
I am a huge fan of action movies, and all that i can say about Hanna is
that it is a complete load of crap, and that is me being generous.
Saoirse ronan is completely useless as the lead character and Cate
blanchett is a ridiculous cartoon. What i think must of happened is
that the producers and the writer must of gotten the idea that because
of the very warm reaction to HIT-GIRL in the movie KICK-ASS, that they
thought lets go ahead and make a movie about this ,but it just doesn't
work out in this case because who ever made the film, is not very good
at their job.
As for the good reviews on here for this film, they really do make me wonder about humanity, as in how can you put such rubbish in front of people and still make them lap it up??
Anyone who gave this a good review is a mindless automaton who does not know a real movie when they see it, they need to go and become a proper connoisseur of all types of movies and then think properly about the nonsense that is Hanna.
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