Get out your guns and storybooks, we're reviewing Hanna!
Once upon a time, there was a very special little girl, who lived in the woods with her father...
An evil witch(Cate Blanchett)wanted to capture this special girl all for herself, but her father(Eric Bana) stole her away in the woods and trained her until she was ready. When the time was right, she went out into the world to kill the witch. The wicked witch sent all her most evil of henchmen to stop the little girl, but the girl would not stop.
That girl...is Hanna.
People have been throwing the idea of modernizing fairy tales lately(what with the Beauty and the Beast reboot and the Little Red Riding Hood reboot), so much so that when they finally do a good job of it, people hardly know it's there. This is the best modernized fairy tale I can think of sense Pan's Labyrinth. It's not from any specific tale, but it makes allusions: Hanna has an old german book of Grimm's fairy tales, they refer to main bad girl Marissa Wiegler as a witch, Hanna lives in a cabin until she's of age, and she even meets an eccentric old hermit who lives in a funhouse in an abandoned storybook amusement park.
Hanna is action packed and intense. It has great pacing, and though there's not as much action as I thought there'd be, the action it does have makes up for it. Hanna's fight scenes are masterful and fun to watch, and even Eric Bana gets a couple of scenes to be badass. And really because of the shots and camerawork, it never feels too stagnant or boring. The movie does a great job of creating tone and atmosphere; I could swear I could smell the cool night air.
This has a lot of people running intensely. Tom Cruise levels of intensity. When they have people running and being followed by shaky cam, accompanied by an awesome soundtrack, it always gets me super pumped up. I feel like running out of the theatre and doing twenty million things. Hanna is a movie that wakes you up, not puts you to sleep.
Speaking of awesome soundtrack, the soundtrack, done completely by the Chemical Brothers, is amazing. And yes, they have that one song from the trailer, and it's just as good in it's extended form. Strangely, there are many silent points in the movie that fit perfectly. But when the action heats up, The Chemical Brothers pump it up just as crazy and just as intense.
Really, the star here is the camera work. A couple of scenes have super shaky cam which may throw people off, but in most cases it shows enough to keep you interested while skewing your senses entirely. One of my favorite scenes has only one camera following Eric Bana being followed through the streets and subway by government agents, and the subsequent ass-kicking he gives them. All with one camera.
Saoirse Ronan does an outstanding job as Hanna, the killer girl with an icy blue stare. Eric Bana plays a great father trying to keep her safe, and Tom Hollander plays a creepy and ruthless henchman.
The story is a great coming of age/hero's journey tale similar to any of the classic fairy tales. It doesn't seem too cliche because she doesn't all of a sudden want to be normal because of a boy, the road most movies would travel down. She meets new friends, goes to strange places, experience new things and does question who she really is, but she never seems to forget what she's been through or where she's come from. The tale ends as it begins and doesn't go on too long to be stale.
All in all, this is a great movie. A great action flick, a great modern fairy tale, and a great atmospheric cinemtogrophagasm. I could easily see this two or three more times for the action, the camera work, and the soundtrack. Go watch it, then go buy the movie soundtrack before it gets stuck in your head for a week.