Sunday, April 1, 2012

HANNA (2011)

Rating: 3!

Hanna ran in theaters last year (2011) and I finally got around to seeing it. The movie is centered on the main character having been trained all of her life to be an assassin by her father in the wilderness of Finland. Hanna (played by Saoirse Ronan) believes herself to be trained thoroughly enough to carry out the mission that her father (Eric Bana) desires her to fulfill. Quickly becoming exposed to the outside world, Hanna (16), finds her new world overwhelming and amazing. After she carries out her mission, she travels with a British family in Morocco to attempt to rendezvous with her father.

I completely expected to find this movie full of action at every bend. A film about a 16-year-old assassin almost cries out for it. What I found instead was a simple plot filled with clever flashbacks and very good, and very calm, acting. Ronan's performance was extremely believable. Innocence wrapped in the ability to kill a person bare-handed is not an easy role to pull off but Ronan gives a wonderful display of it; Hanna shows no fear in killing armed soldiers, yet she becomes astounded at what music sounds, looks, and feels like.

Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana round off the remainder of the main cast and both put their talents to use. Marissa Wiegler (Blanchett) is the CIA antagonist that desires to have Hanna and her father captured as a result of a long closed case that she was involved in. Throughout the movie, Wiegler holds a stoic expression, changing only when she sees Hanna.

Bana's character of Erik Heller plays to his strong point of having few words to say but makes them count where he needs them. However, a few plot points with Heller seem to fall short. As an ex-CIA operative and someone who knows how to formulate a plan, he makes no back-up in case Hanna fell short of her role. After Hanna tells him that she succeeded, he makes no effort to hide who he is. Heller's whole plan hinged on the fact that Wiegler was the end-all of villains; if she was killed, then the American government would just abandon searching for them. This may just be character flaw in Heller believing too much in Hanna or that somehow no one else in the government knew of his existence.

Besides the cast, the cinematography is spectacular. The style used almost makes Hanna feel like an independent movie which makes it even more intriguing. It pulls away from the standard look and incorporates camera shots run after the character, which could tend to make someone slightly nauseous but this builds on top of the phenomenal acting to make Hanna a great movie to view, let alone watch.

The world that Hanna takes place in feels very localized with a plot featuring very few major characters involved in large bodies of government. The back-story is slowly explained at the right times while the plot unfolds at a rather slow pace. While this is not a film for someone wanting to see non-stop action, it does deliver a decent plot with a little bit of action and some amazing acting.

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