Monday, April 11, 2011


Hanna is yet another pretty good spy-action thriller in the vague mold of the Bourne movies without quite as much nauseating shaky cam. This film is not quite as good as Taken and Unknown but could have been with a few tonal changes and a tad less predictability. Hanna is a young girl who has been raised exclusively in a forest somewhere in extreme northern Europe. The place is perpetually white and the extremely atmospheric opening scenes are superb, with very little music to distract from it (though popcorn could still murder the experience). It is very much like the opening scene of No Country For Old Men in terms of Cinematography, with nothing but the sound of the wind perforating the scene.

Hanna is eventually posed with a decision to activate a distress beacon to warn of herself and her father Eric Bana who has trained her to be a master assassin for this moment. The beacon is sent to Bana's former overseer who attempted to kill him over a decade in the past and will undoubtedly send legions of assassins to attempt to kill him once again (I don't believe her particular agency is mentioned but you can assume it's the CIA), or to ask a trifling question first. Hanna is captured but swiftly escapes and murders around 5 people in the process (the amount of detail in this scene is superb, she fires precisely 15 shots from the sidearm she steals prior to running out of ammunition, a typical size for a pistol clip) and is left to roam the countryside. She was instructed by good ol Dad to go to Berlin and off she travels, after discovering that she is in Morocco of course (The one thing I couldn't predict about this movie, I figured it was Turkey, cursed multiple Crusaded lands bordering Europe).

I won't spoil too much of the rest of the film, but suffice to say she meets several helping people along the way whilst being pursued by Cate Blanchett's agents of doom and stereotypical Neo Nazi/Fascist appearances. The helping people are universally enjoyable and it would have been great if you could assume most of them survived but this being an assassin movie they decided to kill quite a few people unnecessarily. This really dampers the film's overall tone, while some brutality is to be expected it sort of goes over the top while not fitting into the overall somewhat light hearted feel of the majority of the film. And of course this makes the film rather predictable in the end and somewhat cliched, but oh well.

This movie is probably going to be the best one in April and as we only have 3 semi-decent blockbusters (Thor, Pirates 4, Captain America) and a candidate for the worst movie of all time to look forward to this summer will undoubtedly not be nearly as good as last summer. Granted, the years when Christopher Nolan doesn't release a film tend to be terrible regardless but I wish every year could have 15 legitimate contenders for Best Picture like the last. This film is pretty damn good though, particularly for coming out of nowhere, all of the acting is excellent and the action scenes (with the exception of one) are easy to follow and not particularly disorienting, though they do tend to change camera angles a lot. It is sort of silly how every Rural setting in the movie is breathtakingly beautiful and every Urban setting is extremely decrepit and vaguely post apocalyptic, but I guess that's to be expected these days.

Final Score: 7.5/10