If I had to describe the movie Hanna (2011) in one word it would be “stupendous.” I went into the theater thinking that this was going to be like any other trained assassin thriller circa Angelina Jolie in Salt or Matt Damon in The Bourne series, but oh was I wrong, so very very wrong. Saoirese Ronan plays the young protagonist, Hanna who is on a mission to kill Marissa (Cate Blanchett), who is responsible for killing her mother and is after her ‘father’ (Eric Bana), and my oh my does she do a damn good job! For once a director, Joe Wright to be exact, does something amazing with a narrative that could have been the bland conventional Hollywood money-maker. He actually makes the lead female’s strength, fortitude and intellect believable, mentally stopping you in your tracks as this young girls capabilities cannot be questioned; she is the real deal.
The two things that I found to be most brilliant with this film are the humanization of Ronan’s unrelenting murderous character and the impracticability of high heel shoes in fast-paced chase and fight scenes. To begin, the first part of the film is situated in the woods where Erik Heller (Bana) is training and developing his ‘daughter’ Hanna to be a brilliant killer. This establishes a world away from our modern reality, as they live like cavemen, hunting for their food and having no access to electricity. Hanna’s reality is met by the stark contrast with a young girl her age in the commercial and superficial driven reality we all know and thrive in. Listening to her new friend Sophie talk about the generic and trivial topics of pop culture, boys, and beauty products after she has just tallied a fair amount of kills makes you want to laugh at Sophie’s ignorance. However, at the same time I found I wanted to kick myself for being victim to the same generic concerns. This editing transition is what humanizes Hanna and reduces her animalistic tendency that was developed from the start of the film. Finally, I am so grateful that a director finally showed the downfall of the high heel shoe. Seriously, women should not be wearing them if they intend on running fast, let alone kill someone. I was confused at first as to why there was a close-up on Cate Blanchett’s shoe choice from her closet, but this analytical editing made me realize that this particular foot ware would be important sooner or later. I will not spoil the rest of the film, but I will say these greens shoes are quite pretty and the heel is not as high as say, Jessica Biel’s character in The A Team (that was just ludicrous! *smacks forehead*)
My verdict is to pay some of your well-earned dollars to enjoy something exhilarating and unconventional in some of its approaches to the prototypical action thriller. Even men have to admit that this girl could kick their ass!