Hanna review

Joe Wright's movie has received glowing reviews from certain critics, which is a mystery. His sure footed direction, though visually bold with some arresting shots, misses the mark overall. Ultimately, Hanna is a misfire that fails to satisfy.

The first half hour is effective though. It begins on frozen tundra where the teenage girl (Ronan) kills a deer while displaying fiery fighting skills with her father (Bana). He has educated her in the frozen wilderness but as she approaches maturity it is time for her to see civilisation. Unfortunately a signal is sent to special agent Cate Blanchett, the villain of the piece, who wants the duo eliminated. Hanna is captured and interrogated at a top secret compound, soon awesomely breaking out and evading her captors with skill and precision. The sequence is certainly exciting, with pulse-pounding music and sharp editing. It's just a shame that the rest of this disjointed effort fails to show the same brio.

It morphs into a standard chase movie, with Hanna hiding from her pursuers by befriending a family on holiday as they traverse Morocco and Spain. Not only is Blanchett's determined killer after her but also Tom Hollander as a gay assassin in her employ. Berlin is the final destination where the young girl is to hook up with her father who is also a target for the murderers. Why are they being tracked down? Why is Hanna such a threat? How come she is such a worthy combatant? That would be giving away what little originality this disappointing affair possesses. While there are individual scenes that are strong and intriguing it never adds up to a rewarding whole. Wright needs to exert a firmer grip at times over the draggy stretches. He's fashioned an uneven but watchable thriller for teens but it needs to be punchier with more oomph.

Hanna at IMDb

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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