Film Review: Hanna
starring Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett, Tom Hollander
Watch the trailer for Hanna
I just saw Hanna recently and thought it was AWESOME! This was one of the few films I've been following and anticipating to see since I heard one of my favorite directors Joe Wright was directing it with an outstanding and talented cast in Saoirse Ronan (leading the cast in the title role) with Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett, Tom Hollander, and Olivia Williams. This film was all that and more! It was much more than I expected and far surpasses my expectations. It definitely delivered, both the film and its actors' strong and solid performances.
Hanna (Ronan) is a teenage girl. Uniquely, she has the strength, the stamina, and the smarts of a soldier; these come from being raised by her father (Bana), an ex-CIA man, in the wilds of Finland. Living a life unlike any other teenager, her upbringing and training have been one and the same, all geared to making her the perfect assassin. (brief Hanna synopsis by Focus Features via IMDB)Now, this was a brilliant, clever, entertaining, full of action, adventure, mystery, that has you on the edge-of-your-seat, suspense thriller, with humor film all in one, that I've seen in a long time. It was like a mixture of Leon: The Professional (featuring the young Natalie Portman) and the Bourne movies (starring Matt Damon) with a fairytale theme (ie. Little Red Riding Hood, but more like Hansel and Gretel, which I think if I remember right, was one of the bedtime stories by the Grimm Brothers that young Hanna was read to by her father Erik) to it. This is one of the films I loved and enjoyed watching this year...thus far. The story was great, brilliant, and cleverly written. Director Joe Wright did a fantastic job directing this film. The original score throughout the film composed by The Chemical Brothers were quite interesting, haunting, hypnotic, and addictive to listen to. It's very catchy and stays in your head even after the movie ended.
The cast were excellent and their performances were top notch, all-around strong and outstanding. Academy Award nominee Saoirse "Hanna" Ronan was amazing in the title role. Love her catchy and very clever one-liner line, "I just missed your heart," which she said twice in the film and another funny one-liner, "three bullets," lol. She was very impressive and delivered a strong, solid, consistent performance from the first moment her strong, independent title character appeared on-screen all the way through the last scene of the film. She owned and carried the film very well all on her own with her superb, top notch acting, for such a young age. She never fails to amazed me...and she's only 16 (17 now...she just had her birthday recently on April 12th) and is already matured, smart, and clever for her age. Such a terrific young actress too. Ronan was surrounded by an amazing and very talented supporting cast too. Eric Bana, who played Hanna's former CIA agent father Erik, was great especially when he was meticulously training Hanna to gain stamina, strength and survival instincts to be a perfect assassin with martial arts, boxing, and street fighting to name a few (with the mantra: "Adapt or Die" ...hence the tagline of this film!) at the beginning of the film and his impressive street fight scenes at the train station. Wish he had more scenes though as he wasn't on much... Cate Blanchette as agent Marisa Weigler was superb as the villain...she was just...wow! Her constant dental flushing and brushing her bloody teeth in a few scenes was downright bloody and creepy! Her non-stop pursuit on young Hanna, made me really hate her character, lol. She was that brilliant and amazing! As does Tom Hollander as the sadistic Issacs, who was a whistling baddie (great timing too with his whistling "the devil is in the beats" to match the score throughout the movie), and one of Marisa's mischievous and psychotic henchmen. Wow, TH was super creepy in this film! He was great and definitely put his A-game on this film. Jessica Barden, the young girl named Sophie who Hanna befriended in the film was pretty good herself. She added balance, fun and humor to this already jam-packed full of action suspense thriller. And Olivia Williams, who played Sophie's mother Rachel, albeit in a small role, but she still did good especially her scenes with Hanna and her traveling family.
Joe Wright (nice to see A Joe Wright Film in the opening scene and movie posters) had really outdone himself with this film. His direction was superb with an artistic style and those long, uninterrupted tracking shots that he always showed in his beautiful and successful films...is quite an impressive film making at its best. He much more than proven himself that he's a force to be reckoned with to the cinema-going audience, that he's not just a period piece film director...that he's much more than that and can direct action films as well as period romantic drama or any other genre films now, after Hanna. To think he had only directed four feature films (Hanna, The Soloist, Atonement, and Pride & Prejudice). He strongly delivered and impressed me so much with this film. He's a brilliant director and an actor's director, seeing as I've seen all four of his films now and he often worked with a few of the same actors he had previously worked with (ie. Keira Knightley, Tom Hollander, Brenda Blethyn, and now Saoirse Ronan). I love his directing style too and he's definitely one of my favorite directors. I'm looking forward to Anna Karenina that he's directing next with Keira Knightley (his frequent collaborator) in the title role. But back to this film, the stunning visuals and long-steady cam shots of this film was very impressive and artistic. It makes this film a standout, refreshing, different (in a good way) from current releases (along with its strong and solid performances by its cast and the brilliant script), makes you think and after you see it, the film, the characters, and the haunting score stays with you even after the end credits appeared.
Overall, I must say, Hanna was a terrific, high octane, fast-paced action, adventure, suspense thriller film. A must-see! Two Thumbs way uP! I highly recommend you see this film! It is one of the few of the best films I've seen this year...thus far. Definitely worth watching and worth the money I spent on ticket to see it. Go see it, if you haven't already!
My Hanna Film Rating: ! (10/10; A+)