Movie Review: ‘Hanna’
This week’s underdog movie release of “Hanna” unsurprisingly did not entice mass audiences to the theater. The action flick was pitted up against last week’s animated comedy, “Hop,” as well as “Your Highness” and the doomed “Arthur.” It managed to slide in the Box Office earnings just under “Hop” in the No. 2 slot, despite its less-than-compelling plot.
“Hanna’s” failure lies in its attempts to be more than it is. If the movie were an action romp, as the commercials had made it seem, at least the audience would know what to expect.
The plot line of the movie would lend itself towards being filled with action and adventure, which can be the sole redeeming value in many movies for a particular audience, but fills more of its 111 minutes with playful dialogue than actual fight scenes.
Instead of focusing on action, director Joe Wright decided to take an artistic approach to the film. It seemed that Wright was trying to take it in a Kubrick-esque direction, without a shred of the brilliance of the late Stanley Kubrick. Complete with a whistling villain reminiscent of Alex DeLarge in “A Clockwork Orange” and irrelevant cackling homeless men, Wright’s attempts to assume Kubrick’s directorial crown were anything but subtle or original.
The movie is about a young girl, Hanna (Saoirse Ronan), who grew up in hiding with her father (Eric Bana). At a young age, she learned to fend for herself and use weapons and constructed a fabricated life story. When she deemed herself ready, she flipped an electronic switch that signaled the CIA and all Hell broke loose. Her father went on the run and she waited for the cavalry to arrive at her winter cabin.
She was abducted and placed in a holding cell at the instruction of the movie’s villain, Marissa Wiegler (Cate Blanchett). Of course, Hanna escapes from the facility to the wilds of northern Africa, and the classic Jason Bourne-style cat and mouse game ensues.
The movie tries to build up to what I assume Joe Wright thought was a perception-shattering twist. However, the twist was expected and is incredibly overused. The audience finds out that Hanna is a super soldier – just like in Resident Evil, Star Wars, the Bourne Trilogy,and even Power Rangers – and those are just the examples that immediately come to mind.
The character of Hanna is also presented in a convoluted and impersonal way. Though she makes a personal relationship with another little girl in the film, the audience feels completely detached from Hanna throughout the film. She straddles the line between the badass soldier and emotional young girl, and never takes a definitive stance on either side.
If you want to watch a movie about a talented fighting girl, go see “Kick-Ass” instead. Though it certainly has its faults too, it at least delivers on its promise of bloody excitement.
The bottom line: just in case I haven’t made it entirely clear throughout my review, save your money instead of seeing Hanna. You may find yourself feeling compelled to care about the plot at certain points in the movie, but trust me, it will quickly lose you again.