Movie Review: Hanna
Prinz Lee wrote this review 5 years and 6 months ago
I may (or may not be) the only one who seems to be adjusting to Hollywood’s vile heart by presenting the young as badass troublemakers. Imitating life, art never strays away from reality, and although ‘HANNA’ may present a fictional look into a teenager being a force beyond anyone’s comprehension, the fact that modern wars hovering pretty much across every continent involving young warriors doesn’t go too far from what’s presented in this film. I’m not sure if kids can be trained by the CIA, but I know wacko Pol Pot from Cambodia back in the 70s surly thought it was possible—hence all those young poor souls not being spared from his heinous torture rooms and suffering probably the worst any human-being (young or old) could ever endure.
Modern times mean modern “solutions,” so due to the fact that teenagers are already involved in wars, why not raise the stakes and have them trained and ready to service their country’s intelligence agencies?
The good thing is that in the world of make believe, ‘HANNA’ happens to be that badass teenager whose training resume serves more than any Navy Seal’s resume, and truly ready to endure more than any troop on his/her way into the battle fields as we speak. The opening scene to this exhilarating film lays an uneasy texture of life feeding on life when presenting how far a stone cold soul will go.
Why? Simple: In a remote frosty/snowy area somewhere far up north, an object in camouflage cleverly stalks a reindeer with a bow and arrow (Motherfucker!), an arrow darts and the deer shoots off across a lake to die its most agonizing death (Animal Rights!). But the hunter, a teenage girl NOT related to Sarah Palin, chases after it. “I just missed your heart,” she realizes, and then kills the beast, skins and dresses it. Her dad (Ang Lee’s Incredible Hulk a/k/a Eric Bana) is the only one not impressed at her distinguished bravery. The deranged, yet, astute man is even ambushing her like prey, constantly testing her to extremes which include knife fights to prepare her for the FUGLY outside world he’s protected her from all her life. Then the Hulk vomits this line (which was pretty cool I must admit) “You must always be ready,” he warns. “Adapt. Or die!”
Ohoooo… With an opening like that, one knows they’re in for a thrill-ride!
Raised by her father (Erik), an ex-CIA man, Hanna's upbringing and training have been one and the same, all geared to making her the perfect assassin. The turning point in her adolescence is a sharp one; sent into the world by her father on a mission, Hanna journeys stealthily across Europe while eluding agents dispatched after her by a ruthless intelligence operative (Cate Blanchett) with secrets of her own. As she nears her ultimate target, Hanna faces startling revelations about her existence and unexpected questions about her humanity.
Saoirse Ronan sparkles in the title role, a cute, physically-fit and lethal girl who announces “Bring it, Bitch,” and proceeds to take down a few of the hardcore swinging dicks who arrive when she switches on the transponder that gives away dad’s location. This violent, pro-active teen is everything her character in “THE LOVELY BONES” wasn’t!
At the cost of her father’s rouging and Hanna being the one in charge for paying for his actions, the film presents one of the wildest goose chases ever across the silver screen. This kind of drama-based thriller HAS been seen before, but whatever those other films lacked, this one didn’t. Not only does it jump from enticing emotional cliff jump to the next, but ‘HANNA’ also eloquently sprints across the screen from Morocco to Spain and north to Berlin to the beat of a breathless Chemical Brothers score. We see her escape from an underground spy base and hook up with a family of Brit-hippies. Olivia Williams is the mom, and the smart-mouthed Jessica Barden of “Tamara Drewe” is the teen who doesn’t realize that her unworldly new friend isn’t as helpless around Spanish boys as she might be.
One of the biggest “WOWs” in all this is that ‘HANNA’ is from the director of ‘ATONEMENT’ and ‘THE SOLOIST.’ Joe Wright, translating from a script by Seth Lochhead and David Farr, delivers shocks, and menacing action movie problem solving ever so nasty. This is one of those ‘BOURNE’ movies where the hero is a girl utterly naive to the real world. She’s never seen a city, been kissed, teased or pretty much looked at by anyone else. But it’s the big, bad world that had better be on its guard. There’s a chase through an empty amusement park, a villain who fidgets with ball bearings, another (Tom Hollander) who whistles and is a throwback to the Golden Age of Hollywood homo cliches, the homicidal homosexual sadist. That lethal combination makes ‘HANNA’ openly nerve-wracking and funny, a version of ‘THE AMERICAN’ in which our loner-killer is amusingly stupefied by this or that detail of a world she has experienced little of. That makes for a thriller that is every bit as fucking ruthlessly efficient and merciless as its titular super-girl.