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Hanna

Submitted by Commandrea on April 6, 2011 – 11:09 pmNo Comment
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Hanna has no relation to Montana nor to an obscure Costa-Gavras film called Hanna K from the early 80s. If there was a precedent film that Hanna resembles most that would be Run, Lola Run but mainly because of a chase plotline accentuated by a thunderous drum and bass based beat.

Where Hanna differs from other assassin on the run genre films, besides the protag being a teenage girl is the approach director Joe Wright takes with the story. Hanna, under Wright’s tutelage, bears similarity to a Bond (source Bond not reboot Bond) type of globetrotting adventure. For the first 30-minutes or so we don’t even know where we are. Then the movie establishes a Northern African locale only to jump to another continent.

Saoirse Ronan plays Hanna, and while she totally owns the role I always felt her performance in Lovely Bones (everybody read the book nobody saw the movie) was so underrated. Hanna isn’t a movie about complex characters so much as getting to point B with a maximum of visual flourish and hyper kinetic activity, but constructed in a way that leaves the continuity in place. For instance, Cate Blanchette is a fetching villain (CIA exec like the type played by Joan Allen in one of the Bourne films), only her most distinguished trait seems to be brushing her teeth to the point her gums bleed.

Hanna so wants to be an R-rated film yet manages to get the spine and intent blockaded within the PG-13 parameters. Oddly recent films like Sucker Punch and Hanna snag a PG-13 while more family oriented films like Win Win get R ratings; go figure.

Ronan’s Hanna is a lab test tube baby bred for endurance and performance in a clandestine agency operation. Some years later, as a young adult she finds herself an asset to Eric Bana (anybody seen his documentary on formula car road racing called Love the Beast?) who’s trained Hanna as an efficient killing machine. Enter the CIA in the guise as a Southern belle accented Blanchette, who wants to put the kaboom on Hanna.

Hanna occasionally goes into overdrive in the kind of cinematic way that invites repeat viewings. Of particular interest was one sequence where soundtrack performers The Chemical Brothers bring in “In the Hall of the Mountain King” a musical moment previously heard and seen in The Social Network.

-Michael Bergeron

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