Hanna

I love action movies.  If that is a genre you appreciate and you enjoyed the Bourne movies, you MUST see Hanna.  I sat unmoving from start to finish.  Not only was the action intense and creative, it was backed by a soundtrack from the Chemical Brothers that is without peer.  The last time I heard a score that was this perfect a match for the movie was Stewart Copeland’s score for Rumble Fish (1983).  The score was as essential a part of the dialog as anything spoken. Close your eyes and hear the screeching violins of Hitchcock’s The Birds and Psycho.  The violins spoke.  Copeland spoke.  The Chemical Brothers spoke.  Just go to http://hannathemovie.com, put on your headphones, turn up the volume, and you’ll understand.

Until this movie, I thought the best action movie teenager was Chloë Grace Moretz in Kick-Ass.  Saoirse Ronan, who plays Hanna, has no equal at this point in time.  You can take the best of Jaden Smith in the Karate Kid remake and combine it with Chloë and it will still not compare to the raw action prowess of Saoirse Ronan.  She is as effortless in her role as Matt Damon is at his best playing Jason Bourne.  Her face is amazing.  You may have seen her before.  She played Susie in the The Lovely Bones.  This ain’t Susie unless Susie learned how to kick some SERIOUS ass.

Accents, accents, accents.  Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett are Aussies.  Ronan is Irish.  None of them sound remotely like the way they speak in real life.  I’m Jewish and I can’t do Jackie Mason.  These three were unbelievable.

I was never a huge Eric Bana fan but he did a really great job.  He was helped by some really exceptional fight choreography that made him fight like a man of his age and size and not some 18-year-old wu-shu wire-artist.

Cate Blanchett is Cate Blanchett.  She was as far into her character as I’ve ever seen her.  IMHO, she took some serious Clarice Starling lessons from Jodie Foster, but hey, if you’re going to borrow, well then borrow from the best.

There was also some very creepy/surreal scenery/underplot/characterization that I won’t touch because I’d hate to spoil it.  Let’s just say that if you liked some of the bizarre-ness of Kubrick and A Clockwork Orange along with some of the off-to-the-side characters in Blade Runner, you’ll get really jazzed over Hanna.

One other thing that I saw, that is becoming a recurring trend, was the lack of R-rated content.  There was no gratuitous gore, sex, or language.  In my mind, that is a big plus.  I Am Number Four also did an exceptional job of being an action/sci-fi hit without bimbos, bowels, or blue speech.  I am a big fan of this approach.  Hanna proves you can do action/adventure with a PG-13 rating.  Bravo to Focus Pictures!  Let’s see more like this.

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