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The Independent Critic

Saiorse Ronan, Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana, Olivia Williams
Joe Wright
David Farr, Joe Penhall, Joe Wright, Seth Lochhead
Rated PG-13
111 Mins.
Focus Features

  • Alternate Ending
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Anatomy of A Scene: The Escape From Camp G
  • Feature Commentary with Director Joe Wright
  • And More!

 "Hanna" Review 
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Based almost solely upon the strong performance by Saiorse Ronan, a teen actress whose range seems to be unlimited, it is impossible to not recommend Hanna, director Joe Wright's latest film about a young girl raised by her father (Eric Bana), an ex-cia man, to be an assassin. When finally turned loose on a project, the endeavor leads her on a chase across Europe that leads her to face questions about her existence and humanity as she is both the pursued and the pursuer courtesy of a CIA operative named Marissa (Cate Blanchett).

The simple truth is that the entire idea that serves as the foundation of Hanna is one to which I object, but I simply cannot object to Ronan's remarkably complex, intelligent and deeply felt performance. In a film that features the always strong Cate Blanchett and Erica Bana, Ronan is without question the cinematic highlight.

Joe Wright, who directed the marvelous Atonement and the frustratingly inconsistent The Soloist, doesn't come close to hittign this one out of the ballpark, though his trademark frenetic camera stylings suit the action sequences well and D.P. Alwin Kuchler seems to have a clue what Wright's going for and makes it come to life on the big screen.

There's really not much going on here, essentially extended chase sequences woven together by Hanna's visit with an unexpected family unit that includes a delightful appearance by Olivia Williams as a rather trippy maternal type. It is this experience that leads Hanna towards further self-exploration that threatens to undo her years of focused training.

Bana has a sort of Grizzly Adams feel about him, admittedly a more psycho one, but poor Blanchett isn't given much to do here and becomes disappointingly lost in her scenes with her younger cohort.

While Ronan's performance holds the film together, Hanna never quite gels into a cohesive cinematic experience and is, far too often, simply boring. That said, for those who have grown weary of the hyper-stylized and unnecessary histrionics in most action flicks these days this may very well be the antidote along the lines of George Clooney's intelligent and well made The American.

With extraordinary performances in Atonement, The Lovely Bones and now Hanna, it seems only a matter of time before Saiorse Ronan finds herself picking up a golden statuette. Serving up a performance both intelligent and bold, Ronan has managed the impossible and made this pacifist child advocate actually appreciate and even modestly enjoy an action film about a teenage assassin.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic