Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) grows up with her father Erik (Eric Bana) in complete seclusion. He trains her to be the perfect spy and she grows up knowing that once she leaves her solitary life, she will be hunted down by Marissa (Cate Blanchett). Nevertheless Hanna wants to head out into the world and finally Erik also agrees that she’s ready. So the first thing Hanna does is to head out and try to kill Marissa, before Marissa can kill her.
Hanna has all the ingredients to be an amazing film. But somehow somwhere something went wrong and the film ended up being not good. It’s not bad per se, but it just doesn’t live up to its potential at all.
Almost everything I can say about this film will be praising. But putting everything together doesn’t work and I blame Joe Wright for it, even though it pains me to say that because he’s a very good director usually. But in this film he doesn’t manage to make the various excellent pieces fit. But if you look at the pieces on its own, it’s excellent.
First and foremost the absolute star of the film: the soundtrack. The whole film through I was completely blown away by it and looked forward to every fight scene because then the music was particularly awesome (and the fights were well done). Somehow it had escaped me that it was written by The Chemical Brothers but once I saw that credit, all I could think was, “well, that explains it.” Amazing.
Which is not to say that the performances weren’t really excellent: Saoirse Ronan is great (holy crap that girl can act), as are Cate Blanchett (but what else to expect from her), Olivia Williams and Eric Bana. Jessica Barden proves again that she is an amazing comedic talent. She was great in Tamara Drewe. She was even better here. And they apparently hired all the good dialect coaches in Hollywood (and didn’t allow them to work on any other film) – that was really impressive. Not perfect, but very, very good.
The script went a bit off the rails sometimes. The ending had me rolling my eyes at the symbolism and Tom Hollander’s character was a complete caricature. But I enjoyed the coming-of-age parts of Hanna’s story a lot – they were also what worked best, apart from the fights. I also liked the general father-daughter focus, though that was one of those things that didn’t work as well as they could have.
Summarising: it is unfortunate that this film didn’t work as it should have.