“I just missed your heart.” Hanna, the titular character, utters this phrase near the start of the film. (I like saying TITular – I told you before I’m still a kid in spirit.) What an accurate metaphor for this movie. That line is so incredibly important. It is where they drew me into the film and the precise moment they LOST me. That will become clear to you if you see the movie.
Let’s get to the deets…
The story’s by Seth Lochhead; it’s written by Lochhead and David Farr (you’ll probably have to be a fan of British TV to know Farr’s work – Spooks/MI-5), and Joe Wright (Atonement*, Pride & Prejudice) helms it. Hanna begs the question - was this movie as the writer wrote it or did the studio execs and producers put their two cents in and diminish what was a great idea? My gut tells me it was the latter.
Anyway, Hanna stars an up-and-comer Saoirse Ronan (The Lovely Bones, Atonement) – busy girl for 17-years old, busy in a good way; not in a Bristol Palin kind of way. I think she’s very good. Definitely keep an eye on this youngin’s work.
Eric Bana (Munich, Troy) – dude, I was about to write you off after Hulk, the Other Boleyn Girl and Time Traveler’s Wife, but we’re cool again. Olivia Williams (Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse), Jason Flemyng (Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Snatch), and he scene thief Jessica Barden (you’ll know her when you see her).
Of course, I have not forgotten our villainess, the remarkable Cate Blanchett. It turns out Hanna puts what may be the limits of Cate’s abilities under a spotlight. (I still think she is the next Meryl Streep, but…) She can do everything… except have a southern American accent. Play an evil witch? No problem. A dancer? Certainement. The Queen of bloody England? Right, mate. “The mightiest and fairest of all the Elves that remained in Middle-earth?” Gee, Mr. Frodo. I surely think so. ASIDE: Do you know the game “I’d rather”? Well, I’d rather… Cate Blanchett or Kate Winslett? I’m going with Cate plus a burger any day – for nearly any question you’d ask. I don’t know who Cate studied but that accent was one of the most inconsistent and weird sounding accents I’ve heard since Steven Seagal’s Mexican accent in… MACHETE!
IF YOU MUST KNOW:
Hanna (Ronan) is coming of age tale of a teenage girl raised by her father - in the forest. (I know what you're thinking – But no, this time it’s not brown folks home schooling their offspring in the woods. Seriously, somebody should make that movie. That would be original in any genre.) So, Hanna’s father, Erik (Bana) raises her in the away from the rest of society and teaches her survival skills, how to fight, how to kill and semper paratus – that’s for my Latin geeks. Erik, a former kick ass operative of some sort is training his daughter for the day where she must meet and kill Marissa (Blanchett), an enigmatic CIA operative.
The gist of the story is this: Marissa did Hanna’s family dirty; Marissa has so severely vexed Erik that he has taken this infant child and trained her to be an assassin with an encyclopedic memory for useless information, including the population of certain European cities. The point is…
either Hanna or Marissa must die. When Hanna is ready to venture out into the world, Erik will release her and she can execute (pun intended) her mission. That’s where we start.
Hanna is a revenge flick with a few little telegraphed twists. It’s interesting because it takes you on Hanna’s journey of self-discovery interspersing decent action sequences while maintaining an indie film texture. Of course, Marissa isn’t just going to sit and wait for Hanna to come to her, so she sends some people out to kill her. See… that’s where this started to get a little off track for me. Why didn’t Erik just train her to be an sniper and make the movie about 5 minutes and allow this kid some sort of life? That’s not very fatherly. More importantly, it’s a waste of my damned time. Nevertheless, I was willing to suspend my disbelief and follow Hanna for a while. But there were random times when this super soldier teenage girl just pissed me off with how she did things. Sure, that can be explained, but some of the corniness of either the writers or the studios cannot be excused. To be specific, I mean that whole I just missed your heart thing. I’d love for you all to see this movie and tell me what you think about that line and how it plays a part in this movie. Saoirse reminds me of a blonde little sister of Summer Glau (who I love as an action movie actress – Rent or buy “Serenity” and you will agree), but her gracefulness and undeniable potential cannot salvage this movie which is currently headed for tops of my list for overrated flicks in next year’s Shammis. Oh, and Jessica Barden’s character was comic relief. Thank you for that, kid.
Sometimes I feel that people tend to be slaves to the story arch and for me, that’s pretty lame. Some of the best movies are not wrapped in a tidy little predictable package. I was hoping Hanna would be one of those. It was not. At the end of the day, the line that drew me in… assassinated my willingness to either cosign this flick or continue my suspension of disbelief. AND, you know how they say everything is better when it’s free? Well, I saw this for free and it ended up being lame anyway, despite being gratuitous – so much for that free theory of everything (Although, it still works with food.)
That Dude gives Hanna: 2
* Atonement is the winner of the Shammi Award for Dopest Promotion for a Film (aka Most Overrated and Over-hyped Film – But not necessarily “bad” film) (Shammi Awards 2010, coming soon…!)
1. They make crap this pure?
2. Couldn’t be more under-whelmed.
3. Not too shabby, I won’t ask for my money back.
4. Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good./Worth the 12 bucks.
5. Why are you reading this and not seeing this movie? Jackass.