Hanna - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Hanna Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ April 29, 2015
One can't but feel sorry for Hanna - who's whole reason for being is to avenge her mother's murder.
Super Reviewer
½ June 13, 2011
The most underrated action film of the last decade.
Super Reviewer
January 31, 2011
Mixing together the fetish details of fairy tales and the rogue Euro-friendly devices of action films, "Hanna" is a deceptively overdone genre of film that gives a few groans and a few shudders. The premise of the film is enticing, framing a young girl (Ronan), outlawed by society and made to be a weapon of destruction by her father (Bana) in the German wilderness. She has no social queues, no indicators of normality, and also fights with complete loyalty towards her father. There's a larger conspiracy at work between her father and several secret government organizations. We only get a taste for what this conspiracy is, in the first twenty minutes of the film, which spurs the action and drives the characters intuitions. The face of the evil organization is Agent Marissa Heller (Blanchett) a mysterious woman who seems to have an unbreakable tie to Hanna and her father. She hunts them down, and we're not completely sure whether or not she really is the evil entity that Erik (Bana) supposes, until we're farther into the film. Instead of being a cat and mouse tete a tete, the film mostly follows Hanna as she adjusts to a wandering life, often co-mingling with an Australian family on holiday. Her interactions with the children and parents take up a large section of the film, and she rarely has to fight the gang of assassins that tail her. Near the end the events turn very whimsical, and that's where everything kind of melts down. The fantasy elements are intriguing: a prophetic, special girl, who looks very predatory and yet fairylike in appearance. A father who is overly protective and keeps her hidden in the woods. A pulse pounding soundtrack over all the action, and fantastical settings, including an abandoned park, serve to remind us of the underlying sentiments of the film. Ronan is amazing as Hanna, giving very little exposition, and yet portraying a feral young girl trying to cope with the instability of her situation. Blanchett is creepy in her role, malevolent as a Disney villain, and yet enjoys a complexity that never gets explained. Marissa Heller is the one part of the story that never gels. We're not sure if she cares for Hanna, or wants revenge, or even why she ultimately stalks her like prey. There's definitely a seedy element to her character that isn't covered by governmental status, and yet it ends with emotional dependence on the young girl. The ending feels stale and useless compared to the rest of the film, and that's because we're unsure of who Heller ultimately is. This film uses its elements effectively, and has a certain style and tone, but it doesn't have a very useful or interesting plot.
Super Reviewer
April 4, 2011
An outstanding, and fiercely directed "coming-of-age/revenge-flick", this little movie is, by far, the best one of the year. The action is so realistically choreographed that it would give big-budget action films a run for their money. The actors are in top form, but it is Ronan who delivers the killing punch (Literally!).
Super Reviewer
April 6, 2011
A retired spy who has trained his daughter in seclusion her entire life unleashes her upon the world to revenge herself upon the former handler who betrayed him and murdered her mother. It's the turn of teen photo love stories to be Bourne again in this girly-girl version of the action-spy movie. Hanna actually begins really strongly with some beautifully shot scenes set in an Arctic wilderness, but when Saoirse reaches the outside world it seems to become a teen travelogue featuring some awkwardly self conscious attempts at humour and a "my first kiss" soap opera. The whole tone of the film reminded me very much of a big budget kids' TV programme which does not sit well with some of the rather graphic violence that occurs at strategic intervals to remind us that we are not watching The Sarah Jane Adventures. This is not helped by the pumping pop soundtrack and supporting cast of wacky hitmen (the uber-camp, mascara smeared Tom Hollander in a lemon yellow tracksuit accompanied by two skinheads is particularly embarrassing) and even Cate Blanchett struggles with her drawling stereotype of a character. It's a shame really because it's actually a very promising idea, but the whole thing just falls apart under the weight of its own completely misjudged hotch-potch of incompatible ingredients.
Super Reviewer
May 26, 2011
A decent action/thriller, a bit like a teen girl version of Bourne Identity, but not as good. Although it was better than Abduction, good cast and some well choreographed fight scenes.
Super Reviewer
April 8, 2011
This average action thriller with tones of fairy tale features a stylish editing and an electrifying score, being particularly efficient in the exciting fighting and action scenes but not that interesting to show the character's adaptation in a world she only knew via an encyclopedia.
Super Reviewer
½ March 21, 2012
Take an interesting twist on the well worn revenge action film, toss in some very artfull cinematics, a mesmerizing performance by Saorse Ronin in the title role; add a quirky yet effective turn by Cate Blanchett as the villain of the piece and you have... a film that still somehow fails to equal the sum of its parts; though it's hard to say why I wasn't more absorbed into this film of a young girl trained almost since birth to be an assassin.

Perhaps it's because the culture shock part of the film was overplayed - young Hanna, for all her skills (knowing all about a lot of things but having no practical experience with them - like electricity for example), is too often portrayed as a fish out of water, a overused theme that quickly becomes tiresome.

The film starts well enough, giving you ample time to get the feel for Hanna's secluded life in rural Finland, being "homeschooled" by her father - though I had issues with his reading simple texts to her while she is able to speak a dozen languages. This is explained, sort of, when the CIA gets involved, but remained irksome.

There is a backstory that I'm not going to reveal, only to say that the whole CIA black ops thing is really a poor motivation for the actions of agent Mirissa, played as an ice queen by Blanchett- though she is wonderful in the part.

Perhaps it is all this murkiness that bothers me - falling back on the old CIA cover up for things they shouldn't have been playing with in the first place takes the viewer down a very familiar path, already done to death by Bourne and M.I. franchises. That this film has some really nice action sequences and some artsy fartsy film shots is all fine and well, but doesn't hide the fact that at it's core this film has been done hundred of times before. Too bad, as the director seems to have a firm handle on what is being presented, and the acting is solid... but the script, especially during the girl meets the real world segments, and the final action packed quarter of the film, could have certainly been tighter(though I have to admit the use of the quirky derelict amusement park was wonderful).

I also found that the film's ending, echoing the beginning, was a bit over the top - as if the screen writer got this brilliant, last second idea that it would be really cool to have Hanna say the same words at the end that she says at the beginning - only problem is that it comes off very juvenile and let's your mind think "oh come on, you couldn't have come up with something better? How about "Hasta la vista, baby"? Yeah, maybe that'll sell in the heartland.
Super Reviewer
April 7, 2011
"Hanna" is a much more methodically slower paced but meticulously detailed film. The tension that the story built up, crept up on me throughout the film. By the end, "Hanna" succeeded to get me involved and propelled me through the exciting action sequences with the help of an engrossing score. Saoirse Ronan as the title character was marvelous; she was captivating in every scene. To say "Hanna" is a uniquely stylized movie is an understatement. Its reminiscent to the German movie, "Run Lola Run". The visuals grasp your attention and has very vibrant colors. "Hanna"'s not a movie for everyone; it is different from many thrillers but the subtly that "Hanna" carries makes this film one of my favorites of 2011. Really enjoyed this movie. Loved it.
Super Reviewer
½ March 3, 2012
Watching this on its HBO premiere reminds me of how criminally underrated this film is.
Super Reviewer
February 24, 2012
The first 30 minutes sets up a tall order, but the last half doesn't follow through. This movie is "Jungle to Jungle"/"Tarzan" meeting "Bourne", where our young heroin, isolated in the arctic forests, wants to experience the world that she has only read about, all while the CIA is trying to kill her. The catalyst for the CIA response is a switch her father tells her to flip to let the CIA know their location (and that they are indeed alive). I cannot understand any logic behind her father wanting this to happen or why Hanna didn't just say no and leave the forest on her own. She is clearly capable of handling herself - she demonstrates this a few hours after flipping the switch. The logic behind the premise gets even more hairy as Hanna uncovers the reason she is being hunted. Still, there are a lot of good action and non-action scenes with Hanna experiencing human relationships for the first time, and the unique soundtrack was an event itself.
Super Reviewer
August 27, 2011
Apart from the usual "The CIA is evil" stereotype it manages to emerge as a surprisingly well executed action suspense thriller with deeper character development than traditional movies in it's genre.
Super Reviewer
December 31, 2011
Fun and engaging thriller, good cast. There's of course several things that rub you in the wrong way, why would a top female goverment agent recruit the help of an euro-trash german bar owner, and his useless skinhead goons? You would think that she would try to get someone far more skilled to catch a genetically build super female soldier. There's a nice sense of tension, and the action sequences are directed with a good eye for them, no jerky asspergers camera here. Way above your average hollywood action thriller.
Super Reviewer
½ December 28, 2011
Hanna is a refreshing take on the international high tech thriller genre. The story is absurd and defies credulity, but it's so full of unexpected visuals and surprising scenes that I watched the whole thing with rapt interest.

It's about a genetically modified child who's been bred to be an international spy and murderer who's kept cloistered in the Arctic by her spy father (Eric Bana, solid as a rock) till she becomes a teen. This girl has never seen electricity in action, but speaks every known language and can kill any wild animal (and any human) that she faces with her super human strength and intelligence. Idiotic, but so well executed and visually interesting that you won't care.

When Hanna hits the world, she's hunted by Marissa, the CIA hack who created her, an evil Kate Blanchett in her worst ever movie role (and I love her in everything else). She is such an over the top cackling villainess, that she stops being interesting.

Even that doesn't matter, because young Siorise Ronan is mezmerizing and the main reason to see this film. The idea of a super genius who's also a naive lamb in the woods is illogical and almost impossible to pull off, but this gifted kid (Atonement) does it. This kid never met another human being besides her fur clad dad, but she has such powers of perception and intuition that when she goes into civilization, she anticipates everyone's moves, two moves ahead, except when it's not convenient for the plot and then she's totally at sea.

There is so much originality and imagination brought to the genre, that Hanna's silly fable like quality is outweighed by all that's good about this. If director Joe Wright could make this one succeed, imagine if he had a great script to direct? (Well, he did Atonement, so another great script, go Joe!)
Super Reviewer
March 14, 2011
Well, what we have here is basically one of the Bourne films, but with a 16 year-old girl. There's a bit more to it, but that's a pretty good way to generalize it. Hanna has spent her whole life living in isolation in the Finnish wilderness. Her father Erik is ex-CIA and has passed down to her his knowledge of comabt and survival, making her a skilled assassin, preparing to send her out into the world to assassinate a ruthless intelligence operative Marissa Wiegler, a woman with some dark secrets.

What sets this movie apart is the character of Hanna herself. She is a formidable weapon, but none of her training/home schooling included any real information about the world or any kind of socialization. The middle section of the film, when Hanna is on the run across North Africa and Europe, is really the most interesting because it shows her discovering the world, and having to learn on her own things that everyone should know by the age of 16, and how to really become more human. It's kinda like the scenes in Terminator 2 where John tries to show how the terminator how to better pass himself off as a human.

So yeah, this movie is a mixture of spy thriller intrigue, pulse pounding action, and a coming of age character study. I think director Joe Wright described it as a drama with some action scenes, or something along those lines. This is a lot of stuff to try to blend together and make work ,and for the most part, it does. It's not the most original film, but it is nonetheless a very solid and stylish attempt at making old new.

The cinematography is top notch, complete with some great landscape shots, and some cool sequences involving lots of pulsing lights and flashy colors. Wright is known for his use of long takes, and that applies here, though unlike what he did in Atonement (of which I've only seen just a few scenes) his use of them is far more restrained and not self indulgant or pretentious. The score is done by techno duo The Chemical Brothers and, though I'm not a big fan of techno, I do kinda like it, and it works decently here, though some of the sequences do comes as like a music video at times.

As far as acting goes, this is another piece of evidence to show why Saoirse Ronan is an actress that is one to watch and should have a long career ahead of her. The role of Hanna is a tough one, and she does really well and is convincing with both the intensely physical side of things, but more importantly with the more human side as well. She can both kick ass and perfectly pull off the effects of isolation and lack of socialization. Eric Bana is decent enough as her father Erik, and Cate Blanchett takes what could have been a routine and boring antagonist role and breathes a bit of life into it. Tom Hollander was decently creepy and intimidating as one of the men hunting Hanna, but sadly underdeveloped and flat.

All in all, I enjoyed this quite a bit. It's stylish, holds your attention, and gives depth and substance to the well worn action revenge thriller. It's not totally original, but it's very solid. I do have some complaints, though. The little British girl was really annoying and got on my nerves way too often, Blanchett's accent stuck out and seemed unnecessary, and some of the symbolism seemed a bit more obvious and forced than it should have. I also could have used a few more crazy and kinetic action scenes, but that's a minor quibble.

All that aside, this is a pretty good film and it gets the job done better than most other action films as of late. As far as the rating, I give it around a very strong B to a light B+
Super Reviewer
March 18, 2011
Hanna was an incredible action film that I truly consider an original good movie. The plot was a little shaky at first but I started to get into it after a while and caught a few huge themes here and there, very interesting stuff. The cast was also really good, Saoirse Ronan was cool and good, eric Bana was great with the time he had, and Cate Blanchett was haunting as the films villain. The camera work was a huge problem, it was really weird and dumb at times. The movie is overall good, I recommend it to most action lovers.
Super Reviewer
½ December 16, 2010
Cast:Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana, Tom Hollander, Olivia Williams, Jason Flemyng, Jessica Barden, Michelle Dockery, Vicky Krieps

Director:Joe Wright

Summary: Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) is a teenager raised and trained by her father (Eric Bana), an ex-CIA operative, to become a highly skilled assassin. But when she's sent on a deadly mission across Europe, Hanna takes to an English family and starts longing for a normal life. She must first solve the puzzle of her mysterious past, however.

My Thoughts: "The movie 'Hannah', was a great thriller. The idea of the film is fresh and original which really made it more enjoyable. Saoirse Ronan is a force to recognize. She is a very talented young actress. Saoirse was very good in the movie. Very impressed with her acting skills. Eric Bana was also really good in the film. This is the first time I think I've seen Cate Blanchett play the 'bad guy'. She did it well. Jessica Barden was great as well, she was very funny in the movie. The film itself is an intense, dark, unsettling suspense thriller. I thought the pacing of the movie was good. Great concept, acting, direction makes this a film to see at least once."
paul o.
Super Reviewer
October 25, 2011
MUSIC- Techno!
Action Cinematography
The filming location had much diversity
A great revenge film

Bare story
Subtle flaws
Super Reviewer
October 18, 2011
A scathing post-modern take on action films, fairytales, family, culture, and exploitation films. Nothing is sacred as Wright transforms everything he touches into a grotesque.

The substance is in the style.
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