Movie Review: ‘Hanna’


Yesterday afternoon David and I went to the earliest showing of Hanna that we were able to see because we have both been looking forward to seeing this movie for a very long time. I knew that I would love Hanna the very first time I saw the trailer a few months ago. I am happy to report that I was not disappointed in the least. Hanna is full of beautifully shot action scenes and tells a tale that is exciting from the start. Saoirse Ronan is the best part of this film but her co-stars Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana are pretty good, too. If you’re lookin’ for an action-packed thrill ride at the movies this weekend, then Hanna is your ticket!

I had no doubt in my mind that the actors would give great performances but I wasn’t really prepared for how beautifully shot the film would be. Action films don’t have to bash you over the head to have an impact … they can offer some semblance of subtlety and still entertain. The thing I love most about Hanna is that the action hero is female … and not just female but a young female. Hanna kicks ass. And despite the PG-13 rating, there are a lot of violent action scenes that will feed any action fan’s thirst for excitement. The writing is really fantastic and the characters are well fleshed out. Keep an eye out for actress Jessica Barden (who plays Sophie) because she is a brilliant scene-stealer. She talks fast to try and pay attention to the hilarious things she says … she gives a great performance in this film. By the end of the film, I wasn’t sure if I wanted the ending to be left open for a sequel or not. Obviously, I’d love to see Hanna have more adventures in the future … but this film was so perfectly book-ended that I’d also be happy if no other sequels were made. Some of the action takes place in Berlin, Germany and because David and I were just there and fell so in love with the city, the setting was a nice treat. I think Hanna is my fave film of the year thus far. The character Hanna is, by far, the coolest chick in film that I’ve seen in some time. Oh and did I mention how freaking incredible the soundtrack by Chemical Brothers is? There wasn’t a single thing about this film that I didn’t like. A+++ Hanna is amazing! But don’t take my word for it, check it out and you’ll see for yourselves.

  • Mitchell

    Awesome. Your post was the deciding factor in what I’m doing tonight! Thanks!

  • Weedy McStoned

    I’m going to see this tomorrow. I love Cate Blanchett. She can do no wrong!

  • Kali

    Yep ! Just saw it and agree with you on all things – crazy good movie.

  • Jade

    Maybe a little spoiler ahead!!

    Just got back from seeing Hanna, loved it!! The fight scenes were very exciting and my husband loved when Hanna kicked the crap out of Erik at the grandmother’s apartment. My favorite parts were the quick shots of Eric Bana without a shirt!! He’s my very favorite.

  • taikwan

    I saw it today. Thought it perfectly cast – Eric Bana was never better. Cate is so good at being bad! – I wondered about that tooth-brushing scene – indicative of German quest for perfection or does she just like pain? What’s your theory on the fate of Sophie’s family? and great parlay on Grimm’s Fairy Tales in one of the late scenes there…Big Bad Wolf.

    and will we ever know the parentage? Parent-figure did say “You will never have her”

    Was Erik preparing Hanna for the inevitable or could that have been avoided and does that mean he loves her more…..or less? I like films that don’t spell everything out but then there’s this problem of never knowing.


    I saw it tonight and absolutely loved it! It’s definitely my favorite film of 2011 thus far as well and I think it’ll be in my top ten for 2011… It’s a hard film to beat. However, it sort of bugged me how Hanna’s ears were pierced… Perhaps they could have been done when she was a baby, but I just thought it was…awkward and distracting. Also, Cate’s accent bugged me! It seemed inconsistent and weird throughout the movie but then I thought it was purposely done because of the character she played and how “fake” she was in term of bitchiness, etc. Oh well! I loved it.

  • richT

    There was one (slight) credibility problem. In one scene, Hanna is seeing electricity & a light switch for the first time, then just a few scenes later she’s in an internet cafe doing extensive web searches to find out about DNA & genetics. Really?

    • @richT — LOL! Yes, I noticed that too. Mebbe she’s a really quick learner ;)

    • Sam

      I did find it strange that she found electricity to be so disorienting, considering that she had just escaped from a maximum security facility with enough flashing lights to make my head hurt. What was the point of those flashing lights anyway? Could the CIA not pay their electric bill? Or, did they think it would be unfair to someone trying to escape if they left the lights on the whole time?

  • Dimes

    Check out this awesome article on actress Saoirse!

  • Dana

    Remarkable movie.

    Regarding some above comments:

    A lot was not explained and I liked that, but clearly Erik had to venture into the rural hinter lands of Finland, perhaps every few years or so, to access books, ammo, etc. He might have stolen it or had access to drop boxes of supplies/cash of which his associates would have not been privy to…if he was a good operative, which he clearly was.

    Why are these excursions obvious? Because the last time we see him in the past was him running into the woods with baby Hanna, sans books, guns, ammo, electronic signaling device, etc…

    He may have also had the cabin set up to a degree before Hanna was even born, it perhaps being their intended destination, or, just a safe house he set up for himself prior to defecting.

    Either way, this would explain things like earrings and the like.

    When Hanna became overwhelmed with mundane technology it made sense. He father could gave taught her about security cameras and the common structure of various underground CIA facilities throughout Europe, which, if you think about it, aren’t likely to change much after initial construction, since it is do difficult to build underground without attracting serious, unnecessary attention to an otherwise discreet area. However, he could teach her everything, and that obviously included simple, mundane, daily tech like remotes and ceiling fans. The fact that she became disoriented and freaked when she wasn’t escaping made sense, since she wasn’t in go mode then, more likely to notice things that are confusing and alien. Also, the stress would eventually get to her.

    Again, with the computer thing, it kind of makes sense. Erik fled with Hanna in 1994, just at the begining of convential internet proliferation. He could explain and draw pictures, maybe even get a hold of a book or magazine that would familiarize her enough to do a basic web search. She didn’t even attempt to do so until she needed additional info. If she hopped onto a laptop right after the escape and hacked into a data base that would have been ridiculous, but searching through old newspaper articles…? A six year old could figure that out.

    Well, just some speculation, but again, I like that we are left to do so with this one. A less movie/director would have spoon fed every detail.

  • Dana

    Edit for above: He could NOT teach her everything.

  • Andrew

    Well there’s definitely room for varying tastes in the world. I’m glad this movie seems to have found an audience that really enjoyed it, I for one thought it was just mediocre. The acting was great, there’s no faulting the performances, but I really wasn’t at all impressed with the rest of it. I couldn’t get over the continuity errors with Hanna’s understanding of technology (the same thing that richT already pointed out), and the action scenes required some serious suspension of disbelief. This is one of those films that makes me glad I had a cost effective way of renting this one like the Blockbuster Movie Pass. It really is an awesome service that includes DVD’s, Blu-rays, and video games by mail, instant streaming and 20 movie channels for $10 a month, hard to beat that. And with the in-store exchanges option, I feel totally confident taking risks on movies I wouldn’t normally bother with, sometimes the risks don’t really pay off, other times I’ve found a couple gems though. As a DISH Network employee, I love telling new customers they can get 10 months of Blockbuster Movie Pass free too!