For best results, play the above song while reading the following review.
Was Hanna what I hoped it would be when I first saw the trailer back in theaters a while back, no, but it was still a good movie overall. While the plot was less than it could have been, the movie benefited from some spectacular performances (namely Saoirse Ronan as Hanna) and a stellar soundtrack provided by The Chemical Brothers.
"Hanna" is the story of a young girl, coincidentally named Hanna, who has been trained as a super soldier for all her life by her father, Erik Heller (Eric Bana). The movie's theme is very mysterious, and was what initially drew me in. Hanna was raised somewhere in the middle of a forest, in an area similar to Siberia. She hunts for food, and trains her mind and body daily. Heller reads to her from the encyclopedia every day, and trained her in at least half a dozen languages as well. The purpose for all this is not made aware until well until the movie (as one might expect), but my biggest problem with this is that the story never quite developed into the epic film I thought it could be.
So it turns out Hanna was genetically engineered to be a better soldier (including suppressing fear, enhancing muscle growth, reaction times, etc.), but who honestly didn't see that coming? I was hoping for something a bit more grand, and while the plot was not necessarily bad, it was a little predictable.
The cast is all over the place. As I mentioned, Ronan performs her role very well, and Bana also plays his role nicely. I was a bit torn as to Blanchet's role in the film. For the first half or two thirds I did not like the way she portrayed her character, but by the end of the film I didn't have any real problem with it. Other supporting characters were pretty lousy though, especially the random British family Hanna meets up with in Morocco.
Am I the only one that felt like Hanna met up with the Wild Thornberrys out there? Nothing was necessarily the actors' fault, but these characters were completely bizarre and out of place. Grimm was also a headscratcher. And what was the deal with the villains hired by Blanchet? She met up with the one guy at a strip club type setting where he proudly admitted to hiring a hermaphrodite, and he actually managed to look like a creepier version of Stormare in Fargo.
The action in the movie was there though, and every scene where Saoirse Ronan engages someone in a fight is an exhilerating affair. Her physical prowess is amplified by the exceptional score, provided by The Chemical Brothers (see the video at the top of the review). I liked Hanna more than most other movies that kind of fit into this genre, and the only reason I was a little disappointed was because I expected an intricate plot with unforseeable twists and turns, as well as some sort of reveal about Hanna beyond the explanation offered in the film.
Hanna was an exciting film, and a good way to spend two hours of my busy schedule. Anyone who enjoys action flicks will find plenty to like here, just don't make the same mistake I made and go into it expecting an indecipherable plot and mind-blowing ending. The soundtrack is but another reason to check it out, so even if the typical action movie isn't your thing (as it certainly isn't for me) there is still something to get excited about here. I hope more movies in the future continue in the direction established by films such as Tron, Hanna, and Girl With The Dragon Tattoo where unconventional music, composed by nontraditional composers, is used to augment the experience.
Overall Score: 7/10