Tuesday, August 2, 2011



­­Just 16, Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) decides it is about time for payback as she sets out to meet and kill corrupt CIA official Marissa Wiegler (Cate Blanchett), who is known to be responsible for the tragedy of her family’s past. Trained to be the ultimate assassin by ex-CIA agent Erik Heller (Eric Bana) all her life, Hanna is in for an action-packed journey as she tries to accomplish her mission while getting to experience some simplicities of life first hand, making up for her lost childhood and causing some ruckus along the way.

There is an abundance of jump shots used early in the movie, which somehow reflects the fragmented back story of the protagonist. As more bits of information about her identity are gradually revealed, the close up shots also multiply. The action scenes are aided by the use of appropriate score and brilliant choreography, both of which help intensify the fight scenes that would look ridiculous had they been done any other way. Remember that we are talking about a 16 year old girl here. The level of suspension of disbelief necessary is quite high. There is that DNA angle anyway, but still, the movie is mainly believable thanks to the acting and the direction.

It is a good thing that the fight scenes are well-choreographed, otherwise it would be hard to believe that Hanna could beat all those thugs, all of which are twice her size. Ronan succeeds in making us believe that she is a ruthless killer with a twisted childhood, and that her sole purpose in life is to kill Wiegler. Aside from this she is also able to display the fragile side of a sixteen year old girl experiencing a lot of common things in life that are new to her for the very first time. I see an Oscar in the future for this girl. She just has to choose her roles wisely.

Cate Blanchett’s accent is inconsistent that it is quite disconcerting. At times you could hear her attempts on a southern drawl, and then you hear some Brit or Aussie in there. Either way, it is an odd mix. If such an American accent exists I surely have not heard of it before. This role could not belong to her list of best performances to date, and she could probably use some tips from Angelina Jolie if she is angling for more action chick roles in the future. Although the character is more of a shrewd agent rather than a killer spy, there are some physically demanding scenes here and her movement is not that effortless.

As for Hanna, I do not know if I should be impressed by her or if she should be pitied. A child deserves a happy childhood, and you could see how the character longs for those experiences typical teenagers are able to have. She is chasing a childhood she never had. Sad. There are a lot of movies about spies and super soldiers that act as killing machines. They are all impressive in their own ways, but primarily because of the awesome fight scenes. This movie is rather different because the killing machine is a sixteen year old girl. It is twisted that way.

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