Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) - who you may remember played Susie Salmon in The Lovely Bones - is the focus of this film of the same name [Hanna]. This simple child of perhaps 15 (her age is not revealed) lives alone in the forest off the Arctic circle with her father Erik - ex CIA (Eric Bana) who has raised her to be the perfect assassin. Hanna has been taught stamina, strength, to hunt and to show no remorse in order to be the perfect soldier.
As Hanna leaves her life of solitude to discover the unfinished business of her family, her naivety of life in the real world is both funny and sad at times. The way Saorise captures the essence of the character is spine tingling and really the reason to watch the film. This is not to say the cast compared to this is bad. Cate Blanchett who plays Marissa, Erik's ex CIA handler and who is in pursuit of Hanna, is ruthless in every sense of the word. She never holds back, not even in daily activities - as she brushes her teeth with more force than neccessary.
This is one of those movies you watch for the journey rather than the destination. Director Joe Wright has done an amazing job bringing this story together like a dark, thriller, fairy tale, yet it seems as if all the creative juices were drained before the end. The ending will not be revealed, despite its disappointment, it's always better to discover it for yourself. The fighting scenes are perfectly choreographed pieces, with the actors performing lethal attacks with fluid smooth movements. One of the best fighting scenes involve Erik fighting a group of agents in a car park, where every blow matches the beat of the soundrack.
It would seem that you would watch Hanna for the action scenes, the character development of Hanna herself, as despite being a lethal assassin every day things - electricity, boys, music, friends - they are all new to her, a child seeing the world for the first time. Watching her take in the world with childlike innocence and wonder, while at the same time watching her kill without breaking a sweat, is a beautiful juxtoposition of personalities, drawing you into the character and film. As much as this is an action thriller, Hanna is a coming of age story, a journey of self discovery, as Hanna discovers the world and herself, while effortlessly taking out countless CIA agents.
Defining Hanna as a good or bad movie is really difficult. You want to like it, as it does have a lot going for it, though the plot and disappointing climax won't allow you to tick yes to liking it. Although hypnotic, the second half of the film really did need to live up to the first. It begins to run off the rails, and the story becomes tedious. Although the characters, especially Hanna are hypnotic to watch, it's just not as good as it could have been.