86- Hanna [9.0]
Hanna is 16 years old. She is bright, inquisitive, and a devoted daughter. Uniquely, she has the strength, the stamina, and the smarts of a soldier; these come from being raised by her widowed father Erik, an ex-CIA man, in the wilds of North Finland. Erik has taught Hanna to hunt, put her through extreme self-defense workouts, and home-schooled her with only an encyclopedia and a book of fairy tales.
This story may have been told in some fashion before, but I doubt it’s been done as well as it is in director Joe Wright’s Hanna. (What a wild departure for a director that has Pride and Prejudice, Atonement and The Soloist on his resume.) Between the astonishing fight scene choreography by Jeff Imada (who worked on the Bourne films) and an incredibly vibrant soundtrack by The Chemical Brothers, Hanna is not your typical revenge film.
I was pleased that Hanna didn’t delve into heavy-handed emotional territory, nor strictly stay in the realm of over the top action movies. Instead, Joe Wright found a middle ground where the audience can become invested in Hanna’s story without questioning if the violence on display is excessive. If anything, the nature of what Erik teaches Hanna are defensive/survival techniques, and the violence is almost an integral part of the overall story.
My only slight issue was with Marissa, as played by Cate Blanchett (who strangely wavers in and out of a Southern twang despite usually pulling off a very believable American accent). All of her scenes with other members of the CIA are performed fairly stilted and cold, but I imagine that’s done on purpose (it also serves as a good parallel to the relationship between Hanna and Erik). Even still, though she isn’t necessarily a two dimensional antagonist, I wish Marissa’s story went a little deeper.
Hanna kept me on the edge of my seat throughout its entire run time and I’d recommend it to anyone who likes a good blend of action, sci-fi and ass kicking female protagonists.