Blessed with considerable virtues, including a clever concept, crackling filmmaking and a charismatic star, it ultimately squanders all of them, undone by an unfortunate lack of subtlety and restraint.
What keeps us hooked is Ronan, a young actress of seemingly limitless abilities, and the tension she creates between Hanna's inhumanly agile body and quizzical eyes, which turn cold only when she pulls the trigger.
Hanna is far from perfect but, courtesy of star Saoirse Ronan and director Joe Wright, it's one of those imperfect pictures that manages to command and hold our attention straight from the opening frames.
In the end there might not be much to this tale other than titillation, but there's plenty to be said for Ms. Ronan, who was the best thing about "Atonement" and holds her ground against forceful screen presences like Ms. Blanchett and Mr. Bana.
There is not a single moment in the new film that is not striking or smartly put together or just plain considered. Wright leaves nothing to chance. I don't know that there's a better way to smother a movie.