Hanna

Somewhat meh.

Hanna has lots of good elements going for it, but it is let down by some very obvious flaws. Ronan gives a great performance as the titular teenager, keeping the movie going as the frequently confused, socially maladjusted assassin, but she’s one of the lone bright sparks.

The films other cast members are just going through the motions. Eric Bana, as Hanna’s father, is phoning it in a tad, delivering his dialogue drably. Blanchett is an acceptable villain, but lacks some real depth to make her more memorable or threatening. We never find out about her life, her motivations and the like. Her main henchman Issacs (Tom Hollander) seems to be an attempt to create a Ledger/Joker style creepy psychotic villain, but failed utterly for me, as his campy German accent and clothes could not erase the image of a Simpsons character from my mind. No matter what he did, or how creepily he whistled, I couldn’t shake the image of “Hey funboys, get a room!”

It doesn’t really know what it wants to be, Hanna, so it mixes two different plot ideas into this unholy mess. One is your standard super-soldier story, the kind of thing we’ve seen in Soldier, Serenity, Bourne and the like, about some highly trained assassin/spy, trying to make their way in the world while being hunted by evil government archetype. Bourne, especially, appears to be an inspiration for Hanna, from the way the film flits from exotic locale to exotic local, with a particular fondness for central European cities.

But the other part of the film, especially the second act, is this kooky coming of age kind of story, where Hanna meets up with this camper van family that are trekking across the world. What follows is some ham fisted intellectual-style dialogue, some really awkwardly suggestive lesbian overtones and just general silliness, this wandering hippie family being somewhat out of place in this film.

The action scenes are quite good, but limited and short. Shaky-cam haters won’t like this film and neither will those not especially enamoured with techno soundtracks.

The film retains a lot of silly elements, which do not blend well with its more serious backbone. Stuff like Bana’s ability to swim from the Arctic to Germany (he goes into the water in the Arctic, and then emerges in a later scene in Germany. No info is given for the intervening time), the bad guys are all either stereotypical German skinheads or stereotypical German camps, a mentally unbalanced Grimms Fairy Tale fan, and some of Hanna’s painfully awkward social interactions all combine to drag the film down a few pegs.

Not too bad really, but not a classic.

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