Film Review: “Hanna”

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Director Joe Wright (“Pride and Prejudice”, “Atonement”, “The Soloist”) delves into a fairy-tale, action- thriller and creates an exciting and arty film that carries itself well.  The story is of a young girl (Saoirse Ronan) growing up in the wilds of Northern Finland, trained with the skills of an assassin by her widowed father (Eric Banna) an ex-CIA agent. His goal is to make his daughter the world’s most efficient “hit-girl; a master of martial arts, weaponry and strategic maneuvering. She is a cold, calculating killing machine with an aesthetic sensibility. After a riveting introduction to her powers in which she slaughters an elk,  first by wounding it with an arrow and then whispering “I just missed your heart” and shooting it with a pistol,  we are ready to leave the forest for the urban environs of Berlin. Here the hero’s quest encounters an unpleasant and lethal intelligence operative whose name is Marissa Wiegler (Cate Blanchett playing against her type)who knows all too well the secrets of why this girl is such a formidable force in the world of espionage. This coming of age story has much in common with the “Bourne” franchise.  DP  Alwin Kuechler’s dynamic lensing and an intoxicating rhythmic score by the Chemical Brothers provide a wonderful backdrop for Jeff Imada’s fight choreography. Overall, an exciting journey which slightly loses its exhilarating edge at its conclusion.

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