Dave White
Hanna Review

Dave's Rating:


The Baby Bjorn Identity

Who's In It: Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett, Olivia Williams, Jason Flemyng, Tom Hollander, Jessica Barden

The Basics: She's a teen assassin. And she got that way because her dad raised her in a cabin somewhere up in northern Finland and trained her in unstoppable kill techniques all day, every day in between field trips to go reindeer hunting all Ted Nugent-style. Then one day he takes out the freaky electronic box with the red button on it and says, "Okay go ahead and push the button and the bad guys will know where we are and they'll come try to kill us. Go ahead, push the button." So she does. What happens next is a non-stop action ninja fairy tale with Eurotrash murderers, skinheads on motorcycles, teen girl confusion mixed with ultraviolence, creepy abandoned amusement parks, stupid hippie tourists, lots of neck-snapping and Cate Blanchett killing it as the evil "stepmother"/frozen-hearted special ops bureaucrat in green suede Prada pumps with sensible heels.

What's The Deal: Like most fairy tales, this one has an unforgiving moralistic streak, especially where its female characters are concerned. They live and die, always violently, and their fates are often tied to their relationship to the rules of warm family life. But if you decide you don't care about that sub-layer of meaning you'll still be rewarded with a fast-paced action thriller where standard operating procedure doesn't seem to apply. The filmmaking is precise, controlled, stylish and comes with the best bonus feature of all: the excitement of not knowing what's going to happen next, especially since the title character doesn't know either (they save most of her identity revelations for the final act's final sequence).

For: Fans of Kill Bill, Run Lola Run and for people who liked the idea of Kick-Ass's Hit Girl but who felt uncomfortable with the way that she reveled in her own murderous nature. Think of this kid as that character grown up a little more but stripped of cocky swagger, profane jokes and flying abilities, then steeped in pubescent angst, nagging questions about her upbringing and a serious lack of dating skills.

From The Man Who Brought You: Pride and Prejudice (the Keira Knightley one) and Atonement. No joke. It makes you wonder how much the marketing people will use that hook to promote it, who might go see it based on their enjoyment of those earlier period pieces and how soon they'll run screaming from the theater (I'm guessing the minute Ronan lays waste to her first batch of humans. It makes me want to go see it again some Sunday afternoon just so I can sit in the back and count the angry walk-outs.)

Next Time: What if Saoirse Ronan made a comedy? What would that even look like? I'm just curious.


Comments (20)

Christy - 4-07-2011 7:43 PM
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Best review title yet, Dave!

Maggie - 4-08-2011 7:07 PM
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Thank you for another excellent review! You're the only reviewer I trust, your taste is spot on.

Gavigoo - 4-09-2011 11:17 AM
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Saw the movie last night and it was awesome! I was throughly entertained from start to finish; Dave is right you never know what's coming next and it keeps you watching eagerly anticipating Hanna's next move. Go and see the flick, its totally worth your money.

JP - 4-09-2011 8:39 PM
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Saw the movie today and I was totally disappointed with the whole movie. Action scenes were ridiculous and dull. I don't know how people can like this movie and even give 4 stars for it. Well, if you want to go waste your money and time, then go for it.

Meg - 4-10-2011 1:40 PM
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Sorry Dave, I usually agree with your reviews but this movie was not at all what I was expecting. I wanted an assassin/revenge movie closer to Bourne or Kick Ass. Turns out the trailer and your review were completely misleading. The only action in this movie was a copious amount of running. Next time market it less as a thriller and more as a movie about a girl who wants to experience the world for the first time. Boring movie. Not worth the time.

Nick - 4-11-2011 4:02 PM
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Don't forget the soundtrack! Liberal use of the Chemical Brothers really ups the intensity. There was less action than I expected but still a very good movie.

AMAZING - 4-11-2011 5:52 PM
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Awesome review, great movie, very clockwork and Run Lola Run was right. and the score by TCB is brilliant LOVE

Nick Wilson - 4-13-2011 3:29 AM
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This was the best film action film I've seen in recent memory. If you put Bourne Identity, Run Lola Run, and the Virgin Suicides in a blender and turned that Blender to 130 BPMs- you would have this movie. There are ample moments that beg suspension from disbelief, but its so fun and highpaced that it was easy to take in stride.

Shao - 4-14-2011 8:34 PM
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OMG!! This movie was CRAP......i can't believe anyone woudl like it. I had such high hopes for it and after reading reviews i was positive it would be great. i was wrong! Don't get me wrong, the first hald of it I loved.....the story was good and the action scenes were cool. BUT their was no climax....the fights got lame and the action, or lack thereof, seemed pg13. No questions are answered at all. Did the director run into a wall? I could make a way better movie in my sleep.

Ray - 4-14-2011 8:49 PM
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One of the few times I've really disagreed with Dave. The characters are safe in the forest but they call the very people who want to use and/or kill them. Right. Cate B is a superior actor, but she has trouble with the "Southern" accent, and her role is pretty thankless (leader of a fairly incompetent CIA section). The lead is earnest and tries hard, but it's asking a lot of someone that young to play a convincing killer. It's like a lot of action/thriller films today--kind of fun to watch but lacking the special something that would make you want to see it again.

E mac - 4-15-2011 5:41 AM
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I saw the movie before the review. I really liked it but expected more. Go see it and decide for yourself, you won't be disappointed.

Ben - 4-16-2011 2:12 PM
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If you are expecting a lot of action then you will be sorely dissapointed

Louis - 4-17-2011 10:10 AM
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Saw it yesterday. Thought it was great. Hoping there will be a Hanna 2!

Iuli - 4-18-2011 11:27 AM
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I loved the movie. Very stylized and the music drove it home. But I'm unclear on these lines: "Like most fairy tales, this one has an unforgiving moralistic streak, especially where its female characters are concerned. They live and die, always violently, and their fates are often tied to their relationship to the rules of warm family life." Maybe I just don't get it, but doesn't everyone in there die violently? Are you saying that this movie upholds gender roles and warns females who might cross them? Just wondering :)

Rico - 4-19-2011 11:40 AM
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This Movie was BASURA....don't look for a sequel. anyone that has plans to go and see this movie, save your money. just rent the DVD when it comes out in July.

Ali - 4-19-2011 2:08 PM
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My man at the Movies. I love his reviews, and mostly agree with him. But on this one, it was maybe a 3 but definitely not a 4 usually dave's 4s are rare, and well deserved. Movie is not bad at all, BUT a maybe 3

Joe - 4-21-2011 12:45 PM
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I really enjoyed the movie; I liked the part when Hanna was going to get her first kiss with a boy and at the last second she had him on the ground ready to snap his neck. Through out the movie there were many subtle references to her being NOT VERY SOCIALLY adept with people. When she met her best friend she told her the whole contrived life story. Go see the movie if you like action movies. As far as actually shooting in Finland, it was about -30F at times, so it was difficult shooting up there in the Arctic Circle. Without giving away the end, Hanna now has to build a whole new life for Hanna 2. Go see it.

Jane - 4-22-2011 5:01 PM
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I thought this movie was STUPID so if you like to waste good hard earn money then this is the movie to see other then that the red lights go off with a warning stay away for you'll be kicking yourself if you go see it don't let the previews fool you like they did me.

zeth alonae2 - 4-23-2011 6:39 PM
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the best movie ever i absoulutley loved it

LISA - 9-25-2011 11:34 AM
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Another Hit Dave....convinced my husband to watch this with me and it had us completely enthralled!!! Cannot wait to add it to my DVD collection...and I"m totally going to see 'Drive' after this...know I will love that too.

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