Movie Review: Despite A-List Cast, Assassin Thriller Hanna Is a Pretentious Mess

hanna2 Movie Review: Despite A List Cast, Assassin Thriller Hanna Is a Pretentious MessRoyal blood doesn’t always wear a crown. Hanna is an incomprehensible pile of gibberish with great credentials: Joe Wright, who directed Atonement, reunites with one of its stars, Saoirse Ronan, the phenomenally talented teenager with the unpronounceable name, and the cast also includes Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana. The result is unbearable junk. What went wrong? Just about everything.

In the title role, Ms. Ronan plays a girl raised in a primitive cabin in the frozen wilderness near the Arctic Circle. In the first shot, she slaughters and disembowels an elk. No wonder she dreams of exploring the world beyond arrows and igloos. But something is wrong with Hanna. Her father (Mr. Bana) is an ex-CIA man protecting her from unknown perils, training her to be a perfect assassin with home-schooling from an encyclopedia and a book of fairy tales. When the time comes to send her away, he promises to meet her in Berlin (huh?) and jumps naked into the icy water, giving Mr. Bana another chance to wear as little as the law allows.

When Hanna crawls her way out of an air duct, she’s in the middle of the Moroccan desert, pursued by a vicious, cold, mechanical redhead (Cate Blanchett with the worst Southern accent in the history of film), a C.I.A. operative who, years ago, killed Hanna’s mother and spent the rest of her career tracking down Hanna and her father to finish the job. For reasons unclear, they seem to be threats to U.S. security.

Are you still with me? While Dad strips down to swim in the ocean, Hanna mysteriously acquires a Bedouin robe and walks all the way to what looks like Afghanistan, speaking perfect Arabic. (Delusional geography is just one of the problems.) For a girl who has never left the forest, the world of electric teakettles, television and hotel swimming pools is a shock as she is captured and hunted by a gay assassin in tight shorts who drives fountain pens through his victim’s jugular veins. Hanna stays in contact with Dad through postcards, although they have neither stamps nor postmarks. From Morocco, she makes her way to Spain on a motorcycle in time for a musical flamenco number, leaps from the tops of storage tanks wearing only sneakers and hops a barge, leaving a string of corpses behind. Her goal: to reach Berlin and find her father in a theme park replete with a Ferris wheel, dinosaurs and a Hansel and Gretel house run by an old clown who feeds her raw eggs. It takes almost the entire 105-minute running time to find out who (or what) Hanna is and why Ms. Blanchett wants to kill her, but if you are a true masochist who will sit through anything until the projector stops running, you’ll have to find out for yourself.

Hanna is contrived, pretentious and not worth seeing even for the perverse pleasure of watching first-rate talents make second-rate fools of themselves. Maybe the movie was shot during Ms. Blanchett’s acclaimed stage production of A Streetcar Named Desire, which might explain why she plays a machine gun-toting European secret agent who talks like Scarlett O’Hara, but not why she has an obsession with flossing and brushing her teeth before every homicide. Nothing else in the demented script by Seth Lochhead and David Farr would make one lick of sense even to Charlie Kaufman.

rreed@observer.com

Hanna

Running time 105 minutes

Written by Seth Lochead and David Farr

Directed by Joe Wright

Starring Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett

1/4

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Jarod says:

    Rex’s review is absolutely correct. This is a simulation of many other films. Kill Bill being one of them. This is artistic impotence at large.

  2. Tara Brown says:

    I truly loved this post. You describe this topic perfectly. Great looking website really.

  3. ALFREDFOX says:

    Again another critic who obviously didn’t watch the whole movie and simply instead wants to criticize the film in order to make a name for themselves. For example ” Hanna mysteriously acquires a Bedouin robe ” She doesn’t mysteriously acquire it at all, if you had watched the movie you would have seen that she steals the robe from a washing line, I guess you missed that part.
    As for your comment “Hanna stays in contact with Dad through postcards, although they have neither stamps nor postmarks” If you bothered to look at the back of the postcards you will see that there is clearly stamps and postmarks on them. Again you must have missed that part also.
    As for Ms. Blanchet’s character Scarlett O’Hara, on why she has an obsession with flossing and brushing her teeth before every homicide – maybe you need everything explained to you in detail even though it is pretty obvious when things are explained to you in detail, you still seem to miss them – I will instead explain to you about the obsession. It is simply a sign that the character has anger issues because she suffers from mental illness which has manifested into the character self-harming, which explains why the character looks relieved after brushing her teeth and drawing blood.
    The film is not only set in beautiful surroundings but the use of language and dialogue makes this movie a true piece of art for 2011. It’s a shame we have yet another critic who can only find a few silly things to complain about, only difference is, the things this critic is complaining about are not even right.

  4. Sheila Otero says:

    Excellent information it is definitely. Friend on mine continues to be looking for this tips.