Published: April 13, 2011
Directed by Joe Wright
Joe Wright’s latest effort is a thriller with echoes of Atonement’s chilly perfection and emotional highs—and, again, featuring Saoirse Ronan, the tremendously talented young actress with the piercing blue eyes. Ronan plays the titular Hanna, raised by her father Erik (a very physical Eric Bana) in a remote cabin in the snowy wilds of Finland. Isolated from other children and people, he prepares her to be an assassin, knowing that when the time is right and the CIA finds out about her, she will be a target. A switch is flipped, the CIA storms the cabin, Erik runs, Hanna is caught—her goal is to “adapt or die” and kill the CIA agent who wants her dead, Marissa (an ice-cold yet brittle with emotion Cate Blanchett).
Hanna is taken captive from the bright silence of the forest to the dust-covered desert and tested. Her DNA holds a secret, something Erik and Marissa know, and when the chemist reads the results of her blood work, he lets her pass without a fight during her escape. On the run after thinking she murders Marissa, Hanna travels to Morocco after meeting Sophie (Jessica Barden), a girl her age with a big mouth and a lot of confidence, yet still a child seeking friendship in this curious girl with out-of-control blond hair.
Realizing she has some living to do, Hanna follows Sophie and her family living the boho life in a jacked-up VW bus—the parents free, the children curious. Moments of domestic bliss compounded by nurturing from Sophie’s mum Rachel (Olivia Williams) show off Ronan’s abilities to traverse the space between her character the “super soldier” and her character the teenage girl. Musically, the Chemical Brothers bring atmosphere and life to every door opening and stair climbing/ascending, complimenting the amped-up pacing of a fight or a chase and the stunning moments of stillness.
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