Hanna (2011)

Written by John Chard on September 1, 2019

Hanna-Barbera More Like.

Hanna is directed by Joe Wright and written by David Farr and Seth Lochhead. It stars Saoirse Ronan, Eric Banna, Tom Hollander, Olivia Williams, Jason Flemyng and Cate Blanchett. Music is by The Chemical Brothers and cinematography by Alwin H. Kuchler.

Hanna Heller (Ronan) is a 16 year old highly trained assassin on the run from the CIA...

Heralded by some British critics as original and thrilling, Joe Wright's Hanna is neither. It's a gimmick movie dressed up as cool for the kids fodder that is both boring and cheesy. Taking the gimmick aside, that of a 16 year old crack assassin girl slotting all who come in her way, it starts off promisingly enough as we meet Hanna and her father Erik (Banna) out in the wilderness. There's training, a believable bond (both Ronan and Banna don't disgrace themselves) and the wintry landscape bites hard as we wonder what is in store.

Then the film shifts to Hanna being on the run, where the back story guff is just, well, guff, and the pace crawls to a standstill. Blanchett's (badly miscast) CIA operative is in pursuit, with that back story guff tattooed on her forehead, and it tries to gain momentum for the inevitable showdown between the big bad bitch and the little china doll killer. The Chemical Brothers drip their brand of techno beats over it, which is OK if you like that sort of thing. How cool?!

In the middle passages Hanna rides along with a Hippy family, with Flemyng also badly miscast, and there's some cack-handed attempt at humanising poor Hanna as she comes alive in the big old world. It's derivative in premise, boring in execution and designed to make teenagers think they are watching a masterpiece for their generation.

The amusement park finale is well staged, location photography is pleasing enough in that hip-euro way, and Banna and Ronan work hard to keep it from total damnation. But for much of the near two hour run time it's a butt numbing bore that has ideas far above its station. Joe Wright should stick to making Keira Knightley look good. 4/10