Now Showing on Cable: “Hanna”

Premiering this weekend on HBO was last years action thriller, “Hanna”.

Directed by Joe Wright and starring Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana and Cate Blanchette, “Hanna” is the story of a very special young girl. Raised in isolation in the woods by her father (Bana), Hanna is trained in combat, languages, and survival skills.

Directed with style and scored with a wide variety of international music, “Hanna” is a captivating film. Perhaps the best way to describe it is art house meets action film.

Hanna and her father live in isolation in the snowy wilderness. Hunting for their food, they pass their days training… combat training, linguistics, memorizing facts. The day comes when Hanna’s training is complete, and she wishes to finally see the rest of the world. Her father, unable to deny her wishes, retrieves a homing beacon. He tells her she may turn it on when she’s ready, but when she does, there will be no turning back.

Of course, such a temptation is too much to resist.

Once she flips the switch, the trouble begins. Her father makes sure they have their cover stories straight, and then takes off into the wild. It turns out, he’s an ex-CIA operative. A fully fledged assassination team responds to the beacon. Hanna is captured…

Her skills prove too much for her captors however, and she escapes the holding facility she’s been put in. Whereupon she faces another daunting challenge: civilization. Being raised in the wilderness, Hanna has known no other human contact than her father. It’s left her remarkably unsocialized. Her head is full of facts and figures, and she’s fluent in several languages, but she has little idea how to relate to others.

And of course, her former captors are now in pursuit… Hanna, it turns out, is a special child.

This is a fantastic movie. Its got terrific performances and great action scenes. “Hanna” is also skillfully directed… Joe Wright utilizes a varied color pallette and fantastic editing. The look and feel of the film lend a propulsive energy to the story… It’s a kinetic movie, even without the action sequences.

A great story, excellent performances, cool action sequences and stylish directing all add up to a fantastic movie.



32 thoughts on “Now Showing on Cable: “Hanna”

  1. I enjoyed this film. Sort of reminded me of the ‘Bourne’ films, if the government/military decided to breed along with train an operative, that is ;-). Some of the action sequences came off pretty fresh (as if someone not use to this type of genre filmmaking decided to give it go). I know some of the criticism of this falls along those lines (and its ending), but I had fun with it. Excellent review, Fogs.

  2. Absolutely love this film. This is like if Wes Anderson directed a Bourne Identity film, it might be something like Hanna. Quirky amazing music that stays in your head forever! How about that long continuous shot ending up with the fight in the train station! I could go on and on about Hanna so I better stop.

    • That’s a good comparison Markus, LOL. A Wes Anderson action film!

      It would probably be funnier than this one was, but I get what you mean… πŸ˜€

      Now you reminded me how psyched I am for Moonrise Kingdom.

    • Thanks. That’s cool Sam, press screenings are pretty awesome.

      I’m actually ashamed to say I passed on this at Comic-Con I think it was 2 years back, for some reason. Cause the movie would have already been out last year. But yeah, I was like “Hanna? What’s that?” Pass.

      Now I regret it… 😦

  3. Surprised you waited this long. This was a fairly well received film. I was sold from the first shot those snow covered woods. I did my own review last April.

    Your review is very cool. Thanks.

    • No Problem Mike, glad you enjoyed it… It is a great flick

      As to the timing, for the most part I keep my reviews keyed in to a release of some sort. I dont do DVD new releases because I dont want to be locked in to purchasing DVDs, LOL, but I do “issue” a review when movies premiere on Premium Cable channels, as is the case here.


      • Yup – the On Demand or playing on a cable movie Channel. I’m going to do The Hunter with Willem Dafoe (film was made on location in Tasmania) via on demand soon.

  4. Hey man, dug the review! I too, recently caught this flick. I bought in to the hype some, which made it a bit of a letdown, but still a good time. Love how odd the whole thing is.

    That one-shot fight scene was incredible! As were the leads. Good stuff.

    Thanks for the welcome over at the LAMB boards. I’ll keep checking back!

    • No problem Mario, the Lamb’s a great place. It’s a great way to make some connections and learn some helpful stuff. I’m sure you’ll get a lot out of it!

      And thanks for swinging by, I appreciate the comment!

  5. I liked Hanna but thought it was mostly forgettable. I wanted to see more of the protagonist being thrown into this unknown civilization/culture of ours given that she was raised exclusively by her father in the wilderness. There is some chase scenes but nothing truly pulse-pounding, I was left wanting more.

  6. I saw this flick this past Sunday. It had some good moments but I found it kind of boring. Some action scenes and had some good comedy with it but I found that there was this roller-coaster of action. It started off laying the plot which was fine, then went to high end action when she was captive, then went to boredom for a while when she was traveling with that family. One thing that I could not figure out is why didn’t the father take her along with him???? He obviously escaped the rigid north on his own and I think he could have taken the kid with him since she grew up there and could easily survive the trip. Instead he pulls out this homing device, makes her get captured and has her meet him at some weird guys house. For what purpose? To kill the agent that was trying to kill her? I think that part just brought the movie down. I still liked it but I certainly would not credit it with an A. C+ to B-.

    • I felt like She was a plant. Like she was sent in to get captured so she could specifically ask for, and then kill Cate Blanchette’s character.

      She knew who to ask for.

      She killed the woman that was sent.

      Then she was able to escape.

      So to me, Eric Bana trained her up for a secret mission, then when she thought she was ready, he let her hit the “launch button” to kick it off. The plan was foiled by Blanchette sending a stand in.

  7. One of my favourite films of last year. Amazing action film and yet, I adored the moments that Hanna shared with that ridiculously brilliant British family. I loved the almost schizophrenic feel the film had, flipping between the two.

    Also, huge nod the The Chemical Brothers for an excellent and unique score. It worked brilliantly with the feel of the fim.

      • No way – I wanted to be a part of that family and caravan all across god-knows-where with them. They were great, and I loved the casting of the parents. Williams and Flemyng are two solid character actors.

        Just bought the BLU of this the other day – can’t wait to check it out again. One of my top two from last year.

      • I need to pick it up myself. It’s a nice addition to a collection.

        I liked the daughter, she seemed like the typical modern day pop culture addled tween. LOL

      • I’m with Dylan – I loved the family too! I wanted to be in their crazy sing-a-long caravan enjoying all the good things in life!

        Williams and Flemyng were great. They did good work making their characters feel real, and yet … very hippy. Loved them.

  8. The only good thing about this movie was Cate Blanchette chewing up all the scenery. She must have been really hungry when they made this movie. Otherwise, it was a major cheesefest.

  9. Like January’s Haywire (and, somewhat, The Grey, though I wouldn’t put that in the same category as either of those films), Wright’s film underscores just how much a deft hand and high-end artistry can elevate an action film into a meaningful, evocative work of art. Not that action films need to be either of those things– they just need to bring the action really well– but the craft and aesthetics on display here really push Hanna into another realm of genre cinema. Great stuff.

    Moment to savor: that outstanding tracking shot following Bana from the airport to the underground, where he dispatches a gang of goons with absurd ease.

    • Totally agree, the artistic quality to the directing elevates the film from a standard actioner. In fact, if it didnt have such style to the direction, it probably would have been underwhelming. And you’re right, too, obviously action films dont have to have this degree of artistic talent… but it would be awesome if they did.

      And yeah, that subway scene is pretty sweet. πŸ˜€ I actually like her throwdown with Bana in the Grandma’s apartment. Good stuff!

      • Yeah, I really think if someone other than Wright had handled this, the entire production might have suffered. Wright really skillfully weaves together the international intrigue and espionage elements with his coming-of-age elements with the fairytale elements and comes up with a cohesive narrative. Hanna’s the young protagonist on a spiritual, emotional journey during which she begins to grow up and have her eyes opened to the world around her; Wielger is the witch chasing her down. It’s affecting stuff.

        Love that fight in Grandma’s house, too. There’s really no action scene in here that slacks, but for my money it’s Bana’s moment in the subway that takes the cake.

    • Yeah, it had a really cool style to it you know? I can see even if someone couldnt get into the story or whatever that they might still be into watching it due to the look and feel…

  10. I’ve been very much wanting to watch ‘Hanna’ but never seem to get around to it. Your review makes it seem like a film really worth watching; I think I know what I’m doing this weekend πŸ˜€

    • Cool! I hope I’m “the straw that breaks the camels back” LOL. It’s a good flick, very stylisitic. I think you’d enjoy it.

      Circle back and let us know what you thought if you have the time!

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