Hit -Girl… Schmitt-girl? Whatever the point is that Hanna isn’t a comic book story its a coming of age hell-bent on action thriller and I have been ranting about this movie since I heard about it and saw the preview clips. When it came out I obediently took out my debit card and purchased a preview screening. “So why post about it now (?)”. Life got in the way, yes, but this film deserved to be written up because it was so damn good.
Daughter to an Ex CIA man (Eric Bana) and brought up to master the core skills of an assassin that all the women of KILLBILL harbour put together, HANNA is a sharp shooting, high-kicking, stealth little madam with her fathers chip on her skinny shoulders. Sent out on a mission whilst being pursued by eerie flame haired Southern Bell CIA bitch Marissa.
At first I was taken aback by how a 16-year-old girl could possibly be so cold-blooded and ruthless, but then pocket holes of adoration in relationship with her father (barring a fantastic ‘fight’ scene in their shack!) made me think otherwise. As the story rolls on we realise that both Hanna and her father are being hunted relentlessly and side kicking at the enemy only goes so far. Hanna now separated from her trainer/father is on the run and hitch-hiking with a ‘perfect liberal’ style family, whom I can safely say were placed in the story to highlight the pitfalls and lack thereof privileges of having a ‘normal’ human relationship.
So it plays out ultimately as a coming of age movie with elements of wholesome violence and thrilling chases running alongside it. Can’t say that its really a tapped market, but it works here. Saoirse Ronan is one bad ass young woman – an Oscar contender from the age of 13 this girl can seriously act and has just proven she can put in the graft to pull off high-octane action movies just as well as her much older peers, in fact better …because she can act. I don’t know if I would have felt as much compassion for the character if it had been another starlet in the role. Ronan brings a sense of humble yet self-assured brilliance to the screen. She’s still a child, she’s clearly innocent in all that she is accused of knowing, however she’s a fierce weapon and will attack when backed in to a corner. Now can Kristin Stewart do that? no.
Kudos to Director Joe Wright for stepping out of his own directorial box and exploring and pushing against the paradigms that usually label a movie like this with the recipe of it containing: Male/ Assassin/ Over 30.
Did I mention Tom Hollander just gets better in everything I see him in? Like Stephen Graham *audience cheer*, Hollander is a man that produces art on camera so beautifully and thrillingly it makes me squeal with pure glee. He’s purely villainous, bringing with it the slightly unhinged humour that scares the audience even more than any villain you would have seen that wasn’t a 5.5″ man, with his own theme tune (chemical brothers obliges) who also has a penchant to kill on sight and perversely enjoy chasing young women across Europe. Last time someone was that creepy and close to the mould was the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang *shudder*.
The fight scenes hold no CGI effects (that I could see) and like the Bourne films them they are choreographed so intricately that it takes your breath away when subjects come in to contact with an object, kick, punch or neck twist. Lastly let me not forget to mention the soundtrack. Unlike Sucker Punch which was a glorified long rock music video, this soundtrack only serves to enhance the thrill of a well acted and well executed action packed film.