Starring: Saorise Ronan, Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett
Director: Joe Wright
Running Time: 111 mins
Hanna is an American film about a young girl, raised by her father to be the perfect assassin, finds herself in an intense dash across Europe under pursuit by a ruthless agent.
Although this is a somewhat unique and bold action thriller, with an interesting premise that makes for a cool pulp-style chase across Europe throughout, there was something about Hanna that just felt a little forced, and meant I couldn’t really enjoy it to the full. Saoirse Ronan performs well in the lead role, but I felt that Joe Wright’s directing of the film wasn’t able to create a sleek and pulsating vibe throughout, making some of the film’s more outlandish more distracting than properly exciting.
Let’s start off on the bright side, with some of the performances. In the lead role, Saoirse Ronan plays Hanna, a young girl brought up to be a devastating assassin with infinite knowledge of the world around her. Although an unorthodox role for the actress, Ronan brings across enough robotic-like qualities in her performance to make Hanna appear as a genuinely intense and threatening assassin, all the while possessing enough humanity and innocence to make some of her character’s first perspectives into the real world convincing and interesting.
Alongside Ronan are Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett, who play her father and the agent hunting her down, respectively. Although both are talented actors, and put a good effort in to do something a little different here (it’s really strange seeing Blanchett in particular in this role), I felt that they weren’t quite as strong as Saoirse Ronan, failing to overcome some of the film’s less convincing and natural elements, meaning that it was hard to see past their characters as cartoonish personas.
And that’s an issue that’s unfortunately pervasive throughout the film as a whole. While, on the one hand, I enjoyed the pulp-style thrills of Hanna, I felt that director Joe Wright really wasn’t able to get a good hold on the action genre, often making for what feels like somewhat of a forced thriller that doesn’t have the effortless sleekness of the best in the genre.
The screenplay isn’t all that exceptional either, and beyond the central chase story, there’s not all that much depth to most of the characters, and little in the way of big, exciting twists, and alongside an atmosphere that just doesn’t manage to string together good thrills and action, instead feeling like a little bit of a repeat of classic genre films with superficial and cartoonish motifs added in here and there, it all means that Hanna just isn’t the endlessly entertaining and exciting watch it wants to be, which is why I’m giving it a 6.9 overall.