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Smart and mesmerizing with an incredible soundtrack
8/10 Hanna felt like The Little Engine That Could right from the start. When the trailer first started being shown in theaters, it looked to have potential while featuring a solid cast. But it felt like a smaller film that would leave a big impact once you finally got around to seeing it. There were a few things working against the film. I'm fairly certain that the only film of Joe Wright's that I've actually had the opportunity to sit down and watch is The Soloist. Despite being enjoyable, its weak online reputation along with movie critics less than stellar ratings and reviews imply that the film missed its mark. Speaking of missing its mark, Saoirse Ronan was also in Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones which couldn't really decide what type of film to be and was more than a little disappointing overall. Luckily, Hanna doesn't suffer that same fate and we're actually given a film that is much stronger than it lets on.5 years ago
Hanna really utilizes the two senses you use most while watching a movie to their maximum potential. The beautiful cinematography is done in a way that let's you see things in a completely different light. There's a fairly wide contrast in scenery in the film; everything from the wooded forest to the dry, desolate desert to big cities to playgrounds and parks. Whether it's a cabin being covered by snow out in the middle of a Finnish forest, an expanding look at the rocky and seemingly endless desert floor, or just admiring the several sunsets utilized throughout the film to bridge one scene to the next, the camera work in Hanna is something that should definitely catch your eye.
While we're on the subject of camera work, there are quite a few intriguing perspective techniques used in Hanna as well. Some of the most noteworthy scenes in the film are one-take or long-take sequences meaning no cutaways or chances to do it again without starting from the beginning. The best example is a scene involving Erik (Eric Bana) where he gets off a bus and is being tailed by four agents sent by Marissa Wiegler (Cate Blanchett). The way that scene is filmed along with its climax is just spectacular. That same technique is used several times throughout the film and seems to make something simple like a chase through a junkyard way more entertaining than if it was filmed differently. Another interesting shot is when Erik finds Marissa in her hotel room. A battle of bullets breaks out as we look through one of the bullet holes to see Erik kicking the door in. Good stuff right there, boys and girls. Good stuff indeed.
The other sense that's capitalized upon is what the film allows you to hear. Hanna features an original score by The Chemical Brothers and it doesn't disappoint. I'm not exactly a big fan of house music, techno, trip hop, or any music genre of that nature, but there's something about this soundtrack that adds something a different genre or artist probably wouldn't have been able to capture if they had been fortunate enough to do this soundtrack instead. Those beats and that electronic sound may not sound like they should be a part of a film like this, but it's an essential part of the film that makes the chase scenes involving Hanna more suspenseful and it's practically impossible to imagine Tom Hollander's "sandman" scene without that creepy bell-heavy lullaby. Truth be told, the Hanna soundtrack is every bit as good as the TRON: Legacy soundtrack.
The action thriller has a fantastic way of coming full circle. The beginning and end come together in a way that feels similar, but is done in a satisfying way that makes the storyline feel complete. Hanna actually has a little bit of humor hidden in its depths, as well. Most of it involves Sophie (Jessica Barden) in some capacity. The "three bullets" scene is the first that comes to mind. The entire theater seemed to be in an uproar over that one.
The one thing that didn't seem to click with Hanna was the editing. It's like the editor became incredibly overzealous being in possession of a soundtrack by the Chemical Brothers and certain scenes seemed more complicated than necessary. Hanna's (Saoirse Ronan) escape from holding was the scene that brought this theory to light. Flashing lights and scenes of Hanna running episode down along with multiple shots of her face in one frame just made the entire scene feel like an epileptic's nightmare.
Hanna is a fantastically paced action thriller that features strong performances from a powerful cast and a storyline that's rounded out in the best of ways. Eric Bana nearly steals the show at times while you may want to kill Cate Blanchett at other times for her Texan accent alone, but Saoirse Ronan puts in a performance that may be the best of her career thus far. Top it off with a spectacular soundtrack from The Chemical Brothers, and Hanna becomes one of the first must-see films of the year that is both intelligent and features slap-the-taste-out-of-your-mouth action.
How does this film obtain a 7.7 rating? 7.7 Oh, please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
1/10 Contains spoilers: This film, Hanna, was god-awful. I was angry when I left the theatre after ruining my afternoon watching a film with such a stupid, faulty plot. There are just too many mistakes and holes. Hanna is a 16 year old ANOREXIC-LOOKING supposed genetic super human. Right away you know the casting is all wrong. She looks so weak. Sometimes she kills commandos immediately, and then other times she fights with skin-head caricatures for hours it seems. Silly stuff. To view this film's comments, use the "hated it" filter. I think the film's cast and backers shamelessly used IMDb.com for their selfish, untrue, and dishonest promotion of the film. No one with half a brain would recommend this film. There are plot holes which should anger you. Also, we are never told why she has to die or why the skinny little girl is a threat to US security. Why does she look longingly, lesbian-like into her new friend's eyes as they are lying in bed together? What happens to that girl and her family? We are not told. What did her foster-father ever do to deserve such treatment from her at the end? He then sacrifices his life for her! She has knowledge of everything in the world, but acts like one of the Beverly Hillbillies when it comes to turning on a light or using electric appliances, but then she just walks into a computer/coffee cafe and goes online. This is one of the dumbest films of all time. I was just so angry to have wasted my time and money on this film that was rated so highly on IMDb. Why does this film deserve a 7.7 rating? 7.7 Oh, please. Something is really, really wrong with the ratings system if this can happen.5 years ago
Not what I expected but .... WOW!
9/10 A friend got me tickets to an advance screening, telling me it was a spy thriller with Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett. I hadn't seen a trailer and was expecting something along the lines of Mission Impossible. Was I wrong.5 years ago
I'm not great at doing reviews, but I feel I need to say something about this amazing movie! During it, I was very aware at how engrossed I was, hanging on every scene. It was visually stunning - some of the scenes or transitions between them were so beautiful. The title "HANNA" on the screen reminded me a lot of Kill Bill. In fact, I felt Saoirse Ronan's Hanna is a teenage version of The Bride from Kill Bill and Leeloo from The Fifth Element.
I've seen Cate Blanchett in a couple of movies, but was impressed by her portrayal of a ruthless agent. I hate to say that Eric Bana's character (Erik) was "almost" forgettable - in the end, the movie was really not about him. But he did show up once wet and without much clothing and that was just fine by me.
I am not a fan of violence (and Tarantino's bugs me a lot), but I was OK with the quantity and visibility of it in this movie. Fans of Kill Bill should enjoy Hanna.
Bad storyline coupled with great direction / camera / sound. Technically brilliant.
7/10 A 'different' movie. Bad storyline coupled with great direction / camera / sound. Technically brilliant. The net result is quite enjoyable. One does have to suspend disbelief to take in the gaps in logic, but once you do that, it's a good ride.5 years ago
The entire movie is in effect a large chase, and the direction has brought about this element superbly. The camera work and sound kept me glued.
There seems to be quite a few reviews that talk of all the gaps in logic and reasoning in the movie. They are all true, but I found the high levels of technical brilliance more than made up for it.
In the end, not a 'great' movie, but one that I nevertheless quite enjoyed.
Wow, was this a waste of money
3/10 This film was derivative of many other films including (Soldier, Resident Evil), with little new in the way of plot. The immoral CIA creates a program in which they are attempting to genetically create the perfect soldier by fooling with the DNA of embryos. When the experiment proves successful (huh..? Why shut down a successful program..?) it is decided for unknown reasons to end the project and terminate all those involved. Eric Bana, the CIA field agent who recruited the women for the experiment has a change of heart and tries to save one woman and her child. For no particular reason, except to give Hanna a reason to want revenge later on, the mother is killed by Kate Blanchett, and Eric Bana escapes with the infant. Bana raises Hanna as his own in an "arctic" cabin without electricity or modern conveniences, in order to prepare her for the day that she has to face the CIA and their henchmen. The day finally arrives when Hanna decides that she is ready. Bana digs up a transponder he had buried and places it in front of Hanna quipping that once the switch is flipped it can't be undone. Since there is no electricity in the cabin, and in fact Hanna has never seen an electric light, the method by which Bana got a battery to operate after over 14 years is never explained. Bana leaves Hanna alone to be captured by the dastardly CIA operatives. He did this apparently in order for Hanna to kill Kate Blanchett. Why he doesn't take Hanna with him, instead of leaving her to be taken by the CIA is left unexplained. Hanna is brought to an underground holding cell, the size of the Superbowl, in Morocco.5 years ago
Strangely, Morocco looks a lot like the desert southwest of the US. Naturally, Hanna is more than a handful for the loutish CIA operatives and manages to escape through the ubiquitous air-conditioning vents which just happen to be her size. She makes her way to the surface, and just as she is looking out of a vast desert vista in broad daylight, Hummvees start driving directly over her head, apparently oblivious to the fact that there is an open submarine door in their path. As the last Hummvee passes the hole is shown as empty clearly showing that Hanna has managed to take hold of the undercarriage of the last vehicle as it passed at 50 mph, where she hangs on similar to Robert De Niro as Max Cady in the 1991 film "Cape Fear". Too bad nobody told the director about this same treatment by the "Simpsons" with Sideshow Bob. I'm sure I'm not the only one surprised by the location of Morocco for this CIA detention cell, instead of somewhere in the US. It becomes obvious later on when Hanna has the opportunity to show off her dexterity with languages, which wouldn't have come up in the US quite so easily. Also, since it was decided by the Director to have the final fight scene in an amusement park in Germany, the CIA detention center had to be someplace from which Hanna could conceivably get to Germany, without a passport or any ID.
At one point in the film Eric Bana picks up a post card at a post office, apparently where they've been holding his mail for the past 14 years, and there's a postcard from Hanna telling him in code she has killed Kate Blanchett, which is unfortunately incorrect. How she bought the stamp, mailed the postcard, or knew which post office Bana would be near is unexplained. The fact that all of this action takes place in a matter of a few days, makes the idea that a post card can get from Morocco or Spain to Germany in that amount of time laughable to anyone who has lived overseas.
There are several editing or continuity errors, like when Hanna kills the reindeer with a bow and arrow, but then guts a reindeer of approximately half the size, and then brings the originally sized reindeer home on a sleigh, apparently having made the sleigh from the raw materials by hand.
The choice of where and when to use blood spatter effects is also interesting. Hanna gets her face splashed when shooting people, and the picture in front of grandma gets covered when Kate Blanchett kills her (again for no reason), but the reindeer is remarkably without blood, even though Hanna is in the process of gutting it.
If you can willingly suspend your disbelief for this film, then you really have no disbelief to suspend.
The story is derivative, the characters are two dimensional and without motivation, the lines are full of cliches, and the violence is unrealistic. Eric Bana is supposed to be the Zen like trainer of Hanna, but he can't seem to handle a Aryan Brotherhood with a knife. I suppose 12 year old girls will like the scene where Hanna flips a Spanish boy who tries to kiss her, but her reactions were closer to that of someone suffering from anti-social personality disorder than of a normal teenager.
The fact that Hanna kills people for little or no reason would seem to suggest that she is in fact meant to be characterized as a serial killer, except that she announces to Eric Bana that she doesn't want to hurt anyone anymore, when all she really needs to do is to stop hurting people.
I found it disconcerting that Eric Bana had spent 14 or so years training Hanna to kill everything that moves, when the CIA was unaware of his or her actual existence. He could just as easily have changed his name and raised Hanna on a ranch in Idaho or a tenement in the South Bronx, but then there wouldn't have been as much of a story, as such.