- Reviewed by Charis Scott-Holm
- Published on May 20th, 2011 at 3:18p.m.
Meet Hanna. Icy glare, can kick her dad's arse and likes slaughtering Reindeer. Not your average cutesy, blonde, Hollywood teen girl.
All Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) has to do is press a giant red button with an alarm on it to escape her solitary life in the German forests. However, this alarm also sets on Hanna her arch nemesis- an American agent who wants her dead (Cate Balnchett). Hanna, however, wants her dead too, so the action ensues.
The film starts with a run-Hanna-run-style pacey chase, leading her across continents fleeing government testing centres and scary European hit men.
However, somewhere along the way Hanna meets a fellow cutesy teen girl, and here the film takes a slight but serious turn in very different direction.
Finding out what a 'real' family is like, and experiencing a bond with a friend, and attraction to a boy, she experiences all kind of things her SAS training in the Arctic Circle hasn't prepared her for.
Featuring a wicked witch, skinhead cronies, ginger bread house and faun like friend, 'Hanna' has more than a peppering of fairytale imagery which I'm not sure whether works or not in the film. It's a strange juxtaposition of modern fairy tale, 'Run Lola Run' style Euro-thriller and Hollywood conspiracy drama, with just a pinch of teen angst thrown in for good measure.
The film's strength is in the tension it builds and a thrilling score by the Chemical Brothers certainly helps this, and in the disbelief of Hanna surviving such terrors, I found myself almost begging the director to help her survive.
But I found a flaw in the film in that I never quite figured out what Hanna learned from all her new found life experience. Maybe I wasn't supposed to.
If you want a very different film, with suspense and adventure, which leaves you thinking for hours and days after, Hanna will be your cup tea. However, if you love traditional Hollywood 'good guy has to foil bad guys using lots of guns and special effects' type films, then rent a film in the ilk of 'Bourne' instead.