At the Movies: Hanna

My ongoing boycott of all things Russell Brand strikes again (It saved me from seeing “Hop” last week). This time it was “Arthur.” Is Hollywood really so desperate that they’re now remaking Dudley Moore comedies? Oh, and Russell Brand in a batsuit driving the batmobile? Sacrilege.

I wanted to see “Your Highness” but for some reason they didn’t screen it here. Since I don’t want to see it badly enough to spend my own money on it, we’ll have to wait and see if it shows up on the next Starz free weekend next year.

And I was going to go see “Soul Surfer” because I thought it was about the Silver Surfer — who’s very soulful — but it turned out it wasn’t. So I didn’t.


I’m kinda torn on the new spy/action thriller “Hanna.” On the one hand, it has a great cast and the action is first-rate and it has a certain offbeat sensibility to it that I like. On the other hand, the more I think about the plot, the more it just doesn’t make sense.

Saoirse Ronan stars as Hanna, a teenager raised in isolation by her father Erik (Eric Bana) in a cabin in the woods. He’s taught her languages, survival skills and many ways to kill. She knows about music and electricity but has never experienced them.

When Erik decides Hanna is ready, he gives her a small box with a beacon inside. If she switches it on, that will alert CIA chief Marissa (Cate Blanchett) to their whereabouts. It turns out Erik is a rogue CIA agent that Marissa wants back in the fold. Oh, and Marissa killed Hanna’s mother.

Hanna flips the switch and Marissa sends a squad out to bring in Erik and the girl. Erik takes off and tells Hanna to meet him at an abandoned amusement park in Germany. What follows is an intriguing, sometimes thrilling, cat-and-mouse game with Hanna outwitting her pursuers while coming to grips with the world outside her cabin.

Director Joe Wright (“Atonement,” “Pride and Prejudice”) isn’t exactly known for action-thrillers but he does a decent job here.  Ronan is compelling as the title character — a young woman trained to be a killer but struggling to deal with simple things like friendship and family.

But there are elements of the story that don’t work for me. The big one being — If Erik is such a master spy, why didn’t he just raise the child quietly in a small village or even a large city and live a normal life? Why alert Marissa to their whereabouts? She didn’t even seem to be looking for them until the beacon went off.

Did it work for me? “Hanna” is pretty effective as a thriller despite my qualms, and it has a unique style, so yes.





One response to “At the Movies: Hanna

  1. I will be so happy the day Russell Brand retires. He can take Jack Black with him as well.

    I was wondering why they lived in the forest as well. I assumed that killing Marissa was a plan that for some reason could only occur if they activated the sensor, but that obviously didn’t work well. Guess we just have to believe that there would have been no way for the two to survive in a city.

    Anyway, good review. Check out mine if you have the chance: Would love to hear what you think!

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