Hanna is sixteen years old. She lives with her father in the woods in isolated Finland. And when we first meet her she is stalking a deer through the snow, shooting it with a bow and arrow before finishing the injured animal off with her knife. To say she hasn’t had the most normal of upbringings is not an exaggeration. Her father has trained her to survive, to adapt, fight, and to kill. Now that she is growing up she wants more. She wants to experience the rest of the world. But to do so she must first help kill her father’s old enemy.
The opening scene of this film is excellent. Ronan looks the part, her eyes in particular are arresting, the instant focus of a scene. And there are some really great action scenes in it. Some the fights are just damn cool, especially Bana’s in the train station. But for the most part this film is nothing more than a solid action/thriller. With some pretty big plot holes. Not to mention almost cartoony bad guys, who whistle and dance. I guess in an attempt to make them more creepy and threatening, but it doesn’t really work.
In many ways this film reminded me of the Bourne films. Maybe because it is about a person who doesn’t really know who they are, travelling through different European countries, and fighting the baddies along the way.
Maybe if it had stuck to the action part of the formula it would have worked. Unfortunately the film tries far too hard to be a serious film. I’m guessing that somebody was hoping for “art”. They didn’t get it. The film just isn’t that good. But if the director had worked with what he had it could have been a good action flick. Instead he pushed at it, and got a mix, which slows terribly in the middle. Too much attempting to make Hanna a “real character” while not achieving anything.
And that isn’t to bad-mouth Ronan, I thought she was excellent in this, and as she is in almost every scene it was a lot to ask, but she pulled it off. Hope she goes on to bigger and better things.
I mean, even Cate Blanchett didn’t shine, so I think we really have to blame either the script or the director. Sure, she is somewhat threatening at the start, but that over the top accent! and the attempts to make her a real character. Enough already, we don’t need pages of backstory for our action-bad-guys, it is enough to know that she was trying to cover up whatever experiment herself and Bale were mixed up in. Stop trying to make her real. Or at least, realise that is isn’t working and stop.
Its not all bad though, but I wouldn’t spend money on it if I could see something better. Fast and Furious Five is probably still out. Now that is an action film that knows exactly what it is. Must get around to reviewing that. Also, this deserves an extra star because although it has a teenaged female protagonist it never wanders off to examine her sexuality. There is one brief flirtation with a Spanish boy, but for the most part the film sticks with Hanna as a driven character, which is what she would be.