Hanna is an American-European action thriller revolving around a 16-year-old who was raised by her father to be the perfect assassin after she is dispatched on a mission across Europe, tracked by a ruthless intelligence agent and her operatives.

Saoirse Ronan plays the sixteen year old girl at the centre of the movie and back in 2011 she was nominated for a number of awards, quite rightly, for her portrayal of the assassin. Right from the opening hunting scene you get a real sense of Ronan’s acting abilities and you know instantly that this is going to be a great performance from her. Hanna’s father, Erik Heller is played by Eric Bana and although he puts on a pretty convincing accent for his part in the film there is something very off putting about his on screen persona; this could be attributed to his character’s past but I think unfortunately it comes down to Bana himself (who I am not a fan of anyway after seeing him in The Hulk and being almost bored to tears watching The Time Traveler’s Wife). Cate Blanchett plays the villain pretty convincingly, she does seem like someone who you could really hate. And there’s a lovely moment where Jason Flemyng decides to pop up and inject a bit of humour into the film that is largely unexpected.

Hanna is quite a step away from what director Joe Wright is known for; he previously directed Pride & Prejudice and Atonement. His direction, however, is one of the most interesting aspects of the film. Every shot is clearly well thought through and the film just looks like a wonderful piece of artwork, the visuals are very very good. There is a sequence early on where Hanna, after thinking she has completed her mission, breaks out from where she is being held and her escape is so visually stimulating its incredible, the camera work, the effects: everything is detailed perfectly and it is a very fun sequence to watch. The film also has an underlying theme of fantasy and fairy tale (one of Hanna’s only forms of escapism comes in the form of a Grimm fairy tale book) and you really get a sense for that whilst watching. It’s not ‘in your face’ so much but when you notice it it really adds another layer to the film itself.

I would have liked to have seen more fight scenes and more action because at some times it did become quite dull and things seemed to take longer than perhaps they should have (Hanna’s friendship with the British girl she meets almost seems irrelevant) but when the action did take place and fights happened they were choreographed excellently. Eric Bana takes on four men in an underground car park type place and it is shot and fought really well. As for being a thriller it is good to see the seeds planted for the revelations at the end quite early on but I do think more back story would have been helpful to let the audience connect with the characters better.

Overall a very good film, the directing and the acting helps to overcome the sparse action sequences.

My Rating: 7/10.

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