Hanna (2011)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
An action-packed mystery.

I’m usually mostly a fan of movies that make sense, or at least make enough sense to know where the movie is heading. I hate it when I feel like the movie is blindly “winging it” to tell a story. Mysteries, on the other hand, are good because they usually give you a taste of where the film is heading, which gives you just enough interest to keep watching. Hanna, for example, is clearly an action film made as a mystery. It gives you one hint in the beginning of the film and unravels the rest as the film progresses. Quite an interesting film.

Hanna is a sixteen year old girl who was raised in the wilderness by her father, an ex-CIA operative who raised her as an assassin with one goal…to kill Marissa Wiegler. When she was ready, she switched on a homing beacon and her father left with his own goals to meet her in the end. The plan was set and off she went. The main problem was that the Marissa Wiegler she ends up offing was a decoy. Her failure set off a chain reaction of bad things that happen for both her and her father, and that’s when she starts to find clues about her mother and what happened all those years ago.

I liked this film more than I disliked it. The main reason why is that the film’s plot is so simple, yet so complex. Think about it. This young girl was raised, literally her whole life to do this one task. That raises the bar of importance. Personally, I didn’t really care as much as if she was doing something good or bad as I was about why. Why is this person so important to kill, why is she after Hanna, what’s this all have to do with. I was actually wrapped up in the story pretty tightly. But was I surprised with the conclusion? Probably not as much as I could have been.

The conclusion made perfect sense, and I don’t know what I was expecting, but I think I wanted something more. I do like it, just don’t love it. I can’t put my finger on it, but it feels a bit incomplete in a sense. Maybe it’s the background story I’m not satisfied and maybe it’s something else, but I don’t feel as if I loved the movie. I just feel like I liked it a bit.

I liked it a lot because of how it was shot and the action mixed with the style of camerawork is incredible. The movie is beautiful, hands down. There were some great one-shots, that is, shots that never cut away, including an entire choreographed fight done in one take…without a stuntman in place of Eric Bana. That’s impressive for a number of reasons. Beyond that, just watching a teenage girl fighting the way that this girl does is not only impressive, but kind of amazing. You don’t see stuff like this very often.

Saoirse Ronan did an impressive job as the assassin/girl discovering the modern world. The fish-out-of-water theme was given a completely different approach this time around as she finds out the hard way how technology works. She also finds out what the true meaning of friendship means, and maybe a little taste of romance as well. So all in all, the movie covers a lot of topics. It’s a coming-of-age tale with all of the conflicts seen in stories (man versus man, nature, and self). Remarkable, actually.

The Good:
This is a remarkable tale of bravery and obedience. Beyond that, it has great performances by Ronan and Bana in a powerful mystery that goes over family, love, and friendship masked behind a ton of action that is both exhilarating and intriguing.

The Bad:
This is probably not everyone’s cup of tea. Some of the accents by Ronan and Bana just seem unnatural and the plot may be lost on some viewers.

Memorable Quote:

Hanna: I just missed your heart.

One thought on “Hanna (2011)

  1. I’m a big fan of Hanna. I agree that it’s not a movie I’d call a favorite, but it’s a really sharp thriller that’s well-directed and has great performances. Just a really big surprise for me in 2011.


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