Hanna: A belated review

Hanna is a Joe Wright action movie starring Saoirse Ronan (Lovely Bones) as a genetically altered 16 year old borne of an aborted research program in Galinka whose goal is to create the perfect soldier. Before the program was terminated, along with all of the experiments, Hanna and her biological mother are saved by CIA agent Erik Keller (Eric Bana), who raises and trains Hanna in the remote forests of Finland for fourteen years to stage an assassination mission against CIA official Marissa Wiegler (Cate Blanchett), the only remaining link to the Galinka program, and the one who killed her mother, in order to finally break free of any ties to the CIA. However, as Hanna is exposed to civilization for the first time, complications arise in her seemingly simple rendezvous with her father in Berlin, which include hired guns, the CIA breathing down their necks and friends that get entangled in their brouhaha. This is where the movie takes off.

The movie had an excellent plot that makes for what should have been an exciting action drama. It had a strong cast of actors to play the lead roles. Cate Blanchett was a great villainess and had a Dolores Umbridge-esque vibe throughout the film, if only a bit reserved. Anyone who knows Umbridge from Harry Potter’s fifth installment would understand annoyance level that this character brings to the table, and Cate was a match for it in her own way as the treacherous Agent Wiegler. Erik Bana was great and showed toughness and vulnerability in equal balance, especially in his scenes with Hanna. However, I was a bit disappointed in how the character of Hanna played out because she just seemed like a watered down, younger version of Evelyn Salt. For somebody who was genetically engineered to do be stronger, faster and better than regular people,  there was really nothing special about her action scenes which depicted her merely as a girl who is skilled because she was weaned on combat for 14 solid years. I was even, at times annoyed at her character for her narrow mindedness during a very crucial scene in the film which led to tragic results. Ronan was, however, believable and relateable as a young girl who encounters technology and civilization for the first time and her genuine longing for normal relationships.

The scoring for the movie was spot on. Using Chemical Brothers music to signal the beginning and accentuate the action scenes enhanced the choreography and gave the sequences a very cool vibe. I was a bit unsure about the point and shoot approach to the flashbacks though because I’m really not a big fan of shaky camera shots. I also noticed that there was a lot of silence in between transitions that filmmakers could have filled with a bit of muted scoring to set the mood, but that’s just my opinion.

Hanna, all in all, is a good movie but it could have been better. After seeing the trailer, I was expecting it to be a lot more exciting but it gave as much as it could given the material.