Joe Wright’s Hanna is something of a curio. It’s every inch an action thriller, with a slight sci-fi bent, but it’s also very much the product of an art-house sensibility. This means that Hanna is one of the most gorgeously constructed and stylish action movies ever to come along. It also means that it’s all a little on the genteel side — a bit too controlled for its own good — especially within the safety of its PG-13 confines. It takes a very simple premise — 16-year-old trained assassin Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) leaves the safety of her northern wilderness hideout and is pursued by ruthless CIA agent Marissa (Cate Blanchett) and her decidedly non-government murderous minions — and spins out for nearly two hours without much in the way of dead space. If ever a movie needed to go just a little further than it does in terms of excess, Hanna is that film. I don’t mean to give the impression that it isn’t a good film, because it most certainly is a good film. It’s also notable as a surprisingly coherent action film. You’ll find no trace of the modern tendency to rapidly cut together a jumble of close-up frenzy where you have no clue what’s going on or who’s doing what to whom and call it an action scene. All the action here makes perfect physical sense. That’s a huge plus, but it also feels like it’s part and parcel of the film’s somewhat too-careful formal approach, which tends to blunt the element of surprise. Reservations to one side, what we have here is a stylish, entertaining, and often downright quirky film that pleases far more than it doesn’t. Imperfect it is, but Hanna has enough wit, style, and drive to make it one of the more compelling films to come along this year.
Official Site: www.HannatheMovie.com
Director: Joe Wright
Writer: David Farr and Seth Lochhead
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett, Tom Hollander, Olivia Williams, Jason Flemyng, Anna Popplewell, Michelle Dockery, Cyron Bjørn Melville and Paris Arrowsmith
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