What a badass little flick this is. In Hanna, Saoirse Ronan (a real spitfire of an actress, who’s got “star” written all over her) kicks some serious ass as a ferocious girl trained by her father (Eric Bana, reliable as ever) to kill the cold hearted, career-driven woman who ruined their family (a steely cool Cate Blanchett). The plot is nothing new, the execution, however, is exhilarating.
The film starts in the barren, chilled wilderness of nowhere; just Hanna and Papa, going through the motions, creating a killing machine one pushup at a time. We notice a few things right away: the caffeinated (yet controlled) editing, the stylized cinematography, the lurking music, which all appeal in the best possible way. Hanna soon makes her way to civilization, and we’re off and running.
In one hyperkinetic sequence, as Hanna escapes from would be captures in some sort of deserted CIA-ish lair, the film seriously takes off. The Chemical Brothers’ original score pulsates through the speakers as Alwin Kuchler’s camera spins and twirls through a complex tunnel system, all cut seamlessly with Paul Tothill’s feel for manic montage. Watching that scene, only one word came to mind: badass.
That feeling was repeated later, in a bravado sequence in which Bana is followed through a city, only to be surrounded by a group of men on a subway platform. Needless to say, Bana takes them all out with his impressive set of ass kicking skills. Better still is the fact that the sequence is completed in one long continuous shot. That’s enough to get my eyebrows raised.
The rest of Hanna is filled with reserved, ultra cool CIA lingo, and other spirited moments that keep the adrenaline pumping. Director Joe Wright, leaps and bounds from his reserved, well done Pride and Prejudice in 2005, is clearly having a blast with Hanna, concerned more with entertaining his audience in a smart way, rather than creating a cinematic masterpiece.
Hanna is fun, a lot of fun, actually. It may not resonate after you exit the theatre, but it’s enough to top off your tank for all things badass. B