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August 23, 2017

Hanna (2011) --- "Find Out How Selective Breeding Can Cause You Miss Someone's Heart On The Shooting Range."

Plot Summary
Raised by her father (Eric Bana) in the Finnish wilderness, teenage Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) has trained all her life to be the perfect assassin. Her father sends her on a mission, and she stealthily makes her way across Europe while evading agents sent after her by a ruthless operative named Marissa (Cate Blanchett), who once worked with Hanna's father. As she draws closer to her target, Hanna faces startling revelations about her existence and begins to question her humanity. (1) 

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     Hanna (2011) is an unexpected and entertaining action thriller but it is not “balls to the wall” action film that one might expect. Hanna is a one of a kind action film that comes around once every blue moon, one that shows value to its character and delivers great action sequences. The pace of the film is great, at times it may seem slow but this only allows for the audience to properly get to know the characters, most notably Hanna (Saoirse RonanBrooklyn) as she explores the world around her for the first time. The acting is solid throughout. Saoirse Ronan excels as Hanna by portraying both a hardened and vulnerable character. Her perspective of the world is unique as she struggles to understand human interaction, the foreign experience of having fun, and the inner workings of the electrical gadgets we take for granted. This was not an easy role to fill as it was physically and emotionally demanding but Ronan nails it. Tom Hollander (Pride and Prejudice), Cate Blanchett (Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and Eric Bana (Troy) all turn out good performances that serve a purpose to the film, however, Bana’s character is easily forgotten.

      The beautiful cinematography (Alwin H. KüchlerDivergent, Steve Jobs) offers a new perspective on things; it makes it easier for us to see through Hanna’s eyes. There is a contrast in the scenery, from the lush and wooded forest to the dry dessert, from the big city to the small neighborhoods. The scenery alone will capture your attention, let alone the action sequences with the help of some intriguing perspective techniques. The more noteworthy scenes are usually one-long-take so if the actor messes up then they have to start the scene all over again, no cutaways or add-ins. This camera technique is used multiple times throughout the film making the most simplistic acts look way more entertaining, especially with the help of an original music score by ‘The Chemical Brothers’ Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons (Black Swan, The Butterfly Effect). I have never been a fan of the techno, hip-hop, house music style but The Chemical Brothers add suspense and practicality to the soundtrack and I do not believe that any other composer could capture the essences of the film in the soundtrack. The beats and electronic sounds may sound odd at first but it quickly becomes clear that they belong as an essential part of the film. It's impossible to imagine Hollander's scenes without the creepy, bell-heavy lullaby he whistles throughout the film.
     The plot moves at a breathless pace, from one location to the next thus painting a rich tapestry of color and culture, while simultaneously and somewhat comically contrasting with Hanna's desperate need to experiencing as many things as possible. The writers Seth Lochhead (Hanna) and David Farr (The Ones Below) did a great job with the plot but the true credit lies with Joe Wright who has worked on outstanding films – The Atonement, Pride and Prejudice, and Anna Karenina – none of which could ever prepare you for what you will experience in Hanna. He combines a multitude of techniques from past films into one masterpiece. It is tight and complex like in Anna Karenina, thoughtful and emotional like Pride and Prejudice, and filled with vigor and growth like The Atonement. On the other hand, there are a few plot holes but this is mostly because the film doesn’t necessarily cling to reality as it is more a fiction film.

Overall, Hanna is an action packed, thrill ride of a movie. If you like tightly-edited, emotionally charming, and an overall beautiful film with a perfect soundtrack and a sometimes breathless pacing, then Hanna is for you. While there are some, I believe that the flaws can be overlooked by something either visually or audibly interesting. From beginning to end we are left with an action thriller that is satisfying and gives the storyline a sense of completeness. There is a bit of humor hidden in the depths of Hanna’s literal and innocent thinking process. The trailers promised potential and even though it seemed to be a smaller film, it made an impression with a solid cast. Hanna is not for every moviegoer but it should not be overlooked or passed by so easily, watch it at least once just to say you did.

“I just missed your heart.”
- Hanna

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  4 of 5 star
Worth Buying:  4 of 5 stars

I hope you liked this post, subscribe to my blog via email HERE, send in your comments, and watch Hanna (2011).

Movies Similar 
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Bourne Series: Supremacy (2004)
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Bourne Series: Legacy (2012)
Bourne Series: Jason Bourne (2016)
Colombiana (2011)
Haywire (2012)
Salt (2010)
Shooter (2007)

Cast & Crew
Directed by Joe Wright
Writing Credits  Seth Lochhead and David Farr
Produced by 
     Marty Adelstein            ---   producer
     Zakaria Alaoui              ---   line producer: Morocco
     Josephine Davies         ---   associate producer
     Christoph Fisser           ---   co-producer
     Jane Frazer                  ---   line producer: Finland
     Barbara A. Hall             ---   executive producer
     Leslie Holleran             ---   producer
     Heidi Laitinen              ---   line producer: Helsinki Filmi Oy
     Henning Molfenter      ---   co-producer
     Scott Nemes                 ---   producer
     Charlie Woebcken        ---   co-producer
Music by Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons (The Chemical Brothers)
Cinematography by Alwin H. Küchler
Film Editing by Paul Tothill
Casting By Jina Jay
Production Design by Sarah Greenwood
Set Decoration by Katie Spencer
Costume Design by Lucie Bates

Saoirse Ronan                  ---     Hanna
Eric Bana                            ---     Erik Heller
Vicky Krieps                      ---     Johanna Zadek
Cate Blanchett                  ---     Marissa Wiegler
John Macmillan               ---     Lewis
Tim Beckmann                 ---     Walt
Paul Birchard                   ---     Bob
Christian Malcolm           ---     Head of Ops
Jamie Beamish                 ---     Burton
Tom Hodgkins                  ---     Monitor
Michelle Dockery            ---     False Marissa
Jessica Barden                 ---     Sophie
Aldo Maland                      ---     Miles
Olivia Williams                 ---     Rachel
Jason Flemyng                 ---     Sebastian
Tom Hollander                 ---     Isaacs
Sebastian Hülk                 ---     Titch
Joel Basman                      ---     Razor
Álvaro Cervantes             ---     Feliciano
Marc Soto                          ---     Feliciano's Brother
Gudrun Ritter                   ---     Katrin Zadek
Martin Wuttke                  ---     Knepfler 

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