Saw the film “Hanna” the other night and I really liked it. It’s about a 16 year old girl trained by her father to be an assassin to get revenge for the killing of her mother. It stars Saoirse Ronan with Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett who effects a decent southern drawl. It’s a decent film that walks a tight rope of violent action flick and something that would find a home on the Nickelodeon cable channel. Although I liked it, I thought the PG-13 rating was a negative.
Ronan is great as Hanna. They had her made up almost like an albino with bleach blond hair and eyebrows and a very white face so her character comes off strange to start.
Her sense of wonderment and unease, with a world she had never seen before she left her home in the isolated woods in Finland, is honest. She transitions into different languages with ease. She does have problems dealing with other people she meets as she travels to meet her Dad in Berlin. Some of those problems are played for a touch of comedy like when the Dad of the British family she hitches a ride with asks her about her mother and Hanna is blunt when she says that she died. The Dad asks what she died of and Hanna is blunt again and says “Three bullets..”
Cate Blanchett does a good job playing the villain Marissa. The character has an obsession with having clean teeth as a couple of scenes show and she deliberately picks out a certain pair of shoes from her closet that is full of them. Nice character touches.
One of my usual favorites Olivia Williams is the Mom in the Brit family Hanna tags along with. She has some nice sweet scenes with Ronan. The world aware, and celebrity obsessed, sister in the Brit family, Sophie, played by Jessica Barden is a nice teen contrast to Hanna. The scene I liked was when Sophie finds Hanna dispatching a couple of goons that were hired to capture her. The girls share a glance with Sophie’s face showing fear and Hanna looking sad while still fighting the two bad guys.
The other thing I liked about the film is some of the techniques used. I liked the cold open where Hanna is seen hunting then when she kills a deer the title suddenly appears then the rest of the titles are shown during the next scene back at her cabin. It reminded me of a Sergio Leone “Spaghetti Western”. You had a lot of steady cam shots during the fight sequences and the locations for scenes looked unique.
If I had one complaint, it would be the PG-13 rating. The action sequences were still pretty violent but being PG-13 you never saw the actual death move or the person dying. A gun would fire then there would be a quick cut or a quick cut to the surrounding area and you would heard a shot or many shots. The only death they showed completely was the most bloody when Hanna slashed a bad guy’s throat but then he didn’t die immediately anyway.
I know they used PG-13 to try and draw in tweens (I can see the merchandise tie-ins now), but we had an eleven-year-old vigilante in 2010’s Kick-Ass and that needed to be rated R.
Aside from the rating the film was entertaining and I see great things in the future for Saoirse Ronan.