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Saturday, April 9, 2011

"Hanna"

In case you haven't gotten the memo, Saoirse Ronan is not to be messed with. As an almost impossibly razor-sharp actress and dynamo onscreen, she commands respect from the audience and even her adult peers. In Hanna, the sixteen-year-old stars as the title character and teen assassin who takes on ruthless intelligence agents on her first major assignment across Europe.

Trained by her equally dangerous father Erik (Eric Bana) in the mountains ever since she was a child, Hanna becomes somewhat of a mini medieval menace as her aim becomes sharper and her moves become too slick for her prey. Where she excels in keen attack skills, she lacks in any sense of normalcy, especially as a teen--like kissing, school, electricity, to name a few. So when she embarks on this mission alone, she gets her first taste of life, but only after she checks off a few items on her agenda. Like making sure her target Marissa (Cate Blanchett) is out of the way, for good. Fighting her way across country and narrowly managing to keep a few other pesky agents at bay, Hanna meets a family who accidentally take her in and basically cargo her wear she needs to go. They know little about her, except the made-up information she literally downloads to them at the drop of her hat (including a dog named Trudy and her favorite color). But they are somehow drawn to her independence and odd intelligence. She befriends their hilariously rambunctious daughter Sophie (Jessica Barden) who shows her the ropes as a fellow teen girl. Well, Hanna doesn't quite fit in but she gives a real valiant effort (emphasis on "valiant").

Narrowly dodging her enemy at every pit stop, Hanna manages to almost lead a double life as a coming-of-age teen girl and a vicious machine always on the alert for her next dutiful attack. When she learns some key information about herself, the tables violently turn and she realizes not everything is had it seemed and not everyone is who she was taught they are, including her.

From the director who brought us such compelling dramas as The Soloist and Atonement (co-starring Ronan), Hanna never has a dull moment and it keeps you invested in Hanna the entire time. Although it has some twists, they never seen sloppy or overdone. Like her character, Ronan is fully committed to the role and impressive as an assassin. She has a natural ability to charm audiences into feeling for her as an innocent teen, even when she's snapping someone's neck onscreen. Bana is also no slouch as the proud papa, whose mysteriously emotionless demeanor keeps you peering at his every move to learn more about him. Blanchett proves she's also a force to be reckoned with for Hanna as she scarily keeps the teen under her microscopic radar the whole way though. Hanna is not just a sleek action movie (with a heart-pounding soundtrack), but it also has a soul that you don't want to part with.

Rating: A-

4 comments:

Lesya Khyzhnyak said...

Cool, thanks for this review! Judging from your rating and the fact that our opinions often coincide, I think I will like it.

Jack L said...

I really like the sound of this one, this review has convinced me to see this film!
Thanks, and excellent review.

Emmanuel Lopez - Motivatorman said...

Great review. Loved this movie! I was so engrossed in the film that I forgot what time or day it was afterwards! Loved every performance and Chemical Brothers soundtrack too.

Plus there was a stunning one-continuous take with Eric Banna fight! Need to see again just for that scene.

Brittani Burnham said...

I'm glad you liked it! I want to see this movie so badly.

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