Hanna- Girl assassin and government experiment in babysitting gone wrong. She was raised by an ex-secret agent in a shroud of mystery and frozen evergreens and taught to fight like a hungry wolf. This wild child is no granola girl. A diet of Grimm stories and caribou jerky has prepared her to be a cold blooded killer, or so her father hopes. When it’s time to finally leave home her precision planned sting operation of a sweet sixteen hits a snag.
Hanna’s years of home schooling and dragging deer carcasses over the frozen tundra instead of recess have left her with conversation skills more awkward than a square at a Sadie Hawkins dance, and a perpetual case of foreign exchange student. She flits between languages with ease, spouting off drilled dossier minutia like Wikipedia on demo mode but flips out over a florescent light bulb.
In the midst of a global CIA manhunt Hanna pairs up with an unlikely family of vacationers when their precociously shallow Brit-tween daughter and creepy shutter-bug son take a shine to her. Hanna ends up tagging along on and off like some kind of loveable murder puppy and discovers friends, first kisses, and awkward dinner banter along the way.
The film stars two Academy honored actresses, Cate Blanchett and Saoirse Ronan, who both give outstanding performances as an uptight snarling government agent out to tie up a final loose end, and wide eyed Nordic Krav Maga death pixie.
Accompanying Hanna’s pounding footsteps as she races through claustrophobic corridors, exotic landscapes, funhouses and metropolises is an amazing score by The Chemical Brothers. The distorted ambient sounds and adrenaline pumping bass work perfectly. Music is the lifeblood pulsing through the film and is seamlessly integrated into the scenes to become more like a heartbeat driving the movie forward than just mere background.
Hanna is directed by Joe Wright who’s better known for his work directing romances and stodgy Keira Knightly period pieces. Wright steps up to the task and delivers a sophisticated and well executed modern action film hit. The film is well balanced and has surprisingly funny moments mixed in with stylish and brutal fight scenes. Though Hanna is heavy handed at times and might leave you pondering a few rag-tag loose threads when you are finished those things are easily forgiven in light of how satisfying and well done a film it really is. Hanna is what other movies who have less gracefully tread similar paths in the past only wish they could be.
-By Laura Gaddy