In Hanna, director Joe Wright creates a world that isn?t remotely realistic.
We begin in the wilds of Finland, where Hanna, played by Saoirse Ronan, is hunting a deer. She shoots it, first with an arrow and then with a gun. Her startling blue eyes betray no emotion. It?s chilling to watch a teenage girl kill so casually.
Then at a furious pace, Wright takes us through a story that is mostly both, outlandish and believable. Hanna has been raised and trained by her widowed father Erik, played by Eric Bana, as a lethal assassin. She breaks bodies in seconds.
Hanna, who has never seen a television or an electric bulb is then pushed out into the real world, where she must escape Marissa, a CIA agent who wants Hanna and her father dead.
Using hyper-kinetic action, thrilling chase sequences and Ronan?s incredible talent, Wright creates an intriguing, modern day fairy tale thriller. For a while, Hanna travels through Morocco and Spain with a regular family, which only accentuates how weird her life has been ? there is a lovely scene in which a boy tries to kiss her and she immediately has him in a death grip.
But largely, the film occupies a dark Neverland, in which the blonde princess must confront the wicked witch. The big reveal, which tells us why Hanna is who she is, isn?t as effective as the events leading to it.
Wright also makes the fairy tale connotations too literal: the film climaxes in an unused Brothers Grimm amusement park in Berlin. Still, Hanna has enough to recommend it ? above all Ronan, whose serene, otherworldly beauty and innate strength is haunting.
I?m going with three and a half stars.