Director Joe Wright is mostly known for his dramatic literary adaptations like "Atonement", "Pride and Prejudice" and "Anna Karenina" (all starring Kiera Knightly by the way) but with "Hanna" he goes in a different direction but with another familiar actress. Saoirse Ronan was nominated for best supporting actress for her role as the young Briony Tallis in 2007's "Atonement".
Saoirse (sur-sha) plays the lead role as Hanna, a sixteen-year-old who lives with her father Eric, played by Eric Bana, in a remote cabin in the middle of a frigid and desolate environment. Living far off the grid Hanna is being trained by in combat and survival among other things. She has been heavily sheltered from the outside world until she feels she is ready but ready for what?
The whole film is set up be an action-packed sci-fi fairy tale. Along with an energetic techno score by The Chemical Brothers" that is reminiscent of "Run Lola Run". We find out that Eric is a rogue asset of the
U.S. government. Cate Blanchet plays Marissa Wiegler, Eric's handler, who has been searching for him ever since he went dark. Her character is played over the top and like a classic Disney villain which plays into the whole fairytale theme.
Finally ready for her unknown mission she is separated from her father Hanna is taken into custody by the evil intelligence agency where Wiegler works. She knows all about Hanna and what she is capable of, but after some pretty kicks ass moves, she escapes. She now finds herself in the Moroccan desert where she comes upon a vacationing British family and makes a friend in Sophie. The film then goes into a coming of age story and Hanna learning to be a regular teenager, but her years of training are never far behind as well as Wiegler's angry German henchmen.
Hanna begins to find out more about who she is and her long complicated past. Finally, in
Germany, the fairy tale theme starts to bludgeon you over the head as she is chased through a dilapidated Alice in Wonderland-like amusement park. This is where a majority of the third act takes place. Hanna learns the truth about her "Mother and Father" from Eric as they meet up at their intended location. Her mission is not yet complete as she must kill Wiegler. "Hanna" as a movie is a bit scattered, a little cold, it tries to be a few too many things at once. Although Saoirse Ronan is the difference and makes the film watchable as she makes Hanna into a magnificent character full of physical strength and emotional weakness. She has this ethereal quality that makes her character different, which in the film she really is. The film opens and closes with her speaking the line "I just missed your heart" each having a very different meaning.