Monday, October 31, 2011

Movie Review: Hanna

Hanna is a brilliant young girl being raised by her father in the cruel Finnish wilderness. She excels at hunting, speaks several languages and can defend herself against any attack her father throws at her. Her father has been raising his daughter in this unusual way to mold her into a highly skilled assassin so that she can settle an old score. It is unclear why this burden should fall on her, but its the crux of the movie so we will let it slide. Despite her years of training, her father is still somewhat reluctant when she begins to insist that she is ready. He leaves the decision in her hands and she sets into motion events that will shatter the quiet world they have built for themselves.

Hanna is a highly enjoyable film. It is action packed, yet the actress who plays Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) brings a subtlety to the film that might have been absent otherwise. At first, she seems relatively unconflicted about the murders she performs to achieve her ultimate goal of killing Cate Blanchette. However, as she experiences the world for the first time, she begins to exhibit some reluctance. By the end, she seems to have struck an uneasy deal with herself: kill only to defend yourself and do so with unwavering efficiency.

Hanna can easily be lumped in with the other female exploitation, ultra-violent femme-fatale films such as Sucker Punch or Kick Ass, but this movie has a bit more depth which bears repeated watchings.

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