Brit director Joe Wright changes genres and from period dramas (“Pride and Prejudice” and “Atonement”) moves onto a fast paced assassin action thriller with “Hanna”. Saoirse Ronan is a multi-lingual teenage killing machine in “Hanna” who is raised in the frozen woods of Finland by her father (Eric Bana). Her upbringing, however, is a little different from that of regular girls her age. Her ex-CIA operative dad believes in training her for the real world and she takes to guns and deathly martial defense arts as opposed to fairy tales and boy crushes. (The film opens with her taking down a deer, first with an arrow, then with a bullet to its still suffering head.)
Miss deceptively harmless 16-year-old, is prepped up for the ultimate day when she can press a big red button and announce her arrival to the rest of the world and thereby start a worldwide chase with the unhinged ice-cold CIA operative Marissa Wiegler (Cate Blanchett). It’s a thriller in which the main protagonist is on the run with fantastic scenic locations (North Africa, Germany and even Morocco), apt for excellent camera work and ‘what-next’ emotions that keep you on the edge of your seat. Hanna embarks on her quest to kill Wiegler while trained assassin Isaacs (Tom Hollander) is on her trail. She meets her hippie mom Rachel (Olivia Williams), her hubby Sebastian (Jason Flemyng) and their teenage daughter Sophie (Jessica Barden) en route. Overall it’s a “Bourne Identity” style game of cat and mouse chase with tons of adrenalin-packed action to keep you jumping.
Ronan demonstrates her best act as a vulnerable yet steel nerved teen. Blanchett is clearly under-used in a stereotypical shallow role. Williams and Flemyng fare average. The Chemical Brothers musical composition takes the film off in splendid style which makes you reminisce of movies like “Nikita”, “Species” and “Leon”.
All-in-all this Bourne-influenced fairy tale action thriller is custom-made for those who enjoy lethal chases and a full-on combat showdown. Let the carnage ensue.