Release Date: 6th May 2011
Directors: Joe Wright
Rating: 12
Marty Adelstein Productions, Studio Babelsberg, Focus Features

Hanna is a film with a wafer thin plot, some poor acting, predictable outcomes and a lot of unbelievable elements. But it isn’t a bad movie. It takes the style over substance route and while you can pick it to pieces all day long, it has a look and feel which will have you going along with it to the conclusion. Super assassin girl on the run to a soundtrack by the Chemical Brothers and through some dreamy renditions of the real world. Let yourself go.

The premise is a simple and slightly stupid one. Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) lives out in a snowy forest with her father Erik (Eric Bana), and he has been spending the years training her to be an assassin. She knows how to kick ass and kill, better than anyone could expect and soon goes out on a mission to kill a woman called Marissa Wielgar (Cate Blanchett). She is the one who killed her mother and Erik has left her to do the dirty work while he escapes. The moment he walks through the snow in a suit, you know this is heightened reality. I thought it was comic book cool, many will just find it stupid. As the two try to meet up once more, the film turns in a chase. Will Marissa win or Hanna?

There isn’t much more to the story. Thugs are sent after Hanna, thugs are sent after Erik. There is a reason for Hanna’s abilities which makes for a flat plot twist, and Cate Blanchett has a funny accent. We get tension, fight scenes, comedy and death. Everything is as you’d expect and the ending can be seen coming from a mile away. Hanna is a decent character though, trained on everything but untouched by technology and people. As the story goes on she learns a little of the real world and her interactions with the family holiday group is amusing and pleasant. Despite the film running on a thin piece of string, the characters manage to be likeable. Except Marissa.

So we move onto what makes Hanna something special. Firstly, the soundtrack is incredible. The Chemical Brothers have provided the music and it works wonderfully with the action and the character Hanna’s journey. It has a sense of innocence with a tip of darkness dipped in, and turns into a thumping dance track which suits the movements when the action kicks in. It makes the film feel free-spirited and fresh. The colourful backgrounds of graffiti riddled streets or Grimm fairy tale cottages make it a visual treat. With the stylish directing mixing the two aspects together, Hanna is a treat for the eyes and the ears. I have one of the themes lodged into my head, a piece of music with whistling, something the creepier head thug likes to do when he walks around covered in blood.

Hanna is an easy film to watch which clears the mind of thought. While story and character are essential aspects of a film, Hanna gets by with the smallest portion, and provides with the visual and audio side. Some will find it a little too funky, a little too out there and others will come in expecting the Bourne Identity. Yet I’m sure many will love the rush of a young girl experiencing parts of life she hasn’t witness before while running from the dangers that follow. Through desert, through fairy tale theme parks. To dance, to piano. Like the film says, music is an expression of emotion.


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