Film Reviews

Hanna Joe Wright

Rating - 6/10

With its pulsating Chemical Brothers soundtrack and crisp action sequences, the fourth feature from Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride and Prejudice) is a very modern beast. Hanna follows the path of its titular heroine, a teenage assassin, as she tears across North Africa and Europe on the mission she was quite literally born to fulfil.

This being a revenge-themed action film, it would be unrealistic to expect too much from the main story arc; Seth Lochhead and David Farr's screenplay delivers few surprises and very little in the way of memorable dialogue. Aside from the curiously out of place coming of age segment in the film's middle third, Hanna follows a well-trodden path and the outcome of every twist and turn is easy to predict. In the hands of a nervy first-time director, the writing team's relative inexperience would have been been cruelly exposed; with Wright at the helm and the electrifying Saoirse Ronan in the lead role, the film stays afloat long enough to just about succeed.

While Ronan rightfully deserves the lion's share of the praise for her magnetic performance, a special mention should go to Tom Hollander who is also brilliant as the creepy mercenary Isaacs, commissioned by immoral CIA agent Marissa Wiegler (Cate Blanchett) to hunt Hanna. The Chemical Brothers can also congratulate themselves on a job well done; their lively soundtrack makes the film feel current and its trademark crescendos enhance the chase sequences in particular. I strongly suspect this won't be the duo's final soundtrack.

Action films tend to live and die by their pacing, special effects, and the performances of their leads. In other words, if the styling is right, audiences won't grumble too much about a lack of substance. Hanna's underlying premise may scream generic revenge movie, but the strength of the film's central character and its lively action elements are satisfying enough to allow me to forgive the inadequacies of the writing team.