Overlooked Film of the Week- #29
Who wouldn't love a spy thriller mixing with a splash of science fiction? I sure did when it came to "Hanna," a sleeper thriller that got released in early spring 2011 and blew my mind completely. On a surface level, "Hanna" might look like a weird movie about a little girl with superpowers, if that what you think it is, you couldn't be further from the truth. The reason why Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) can do the things she can do makes quite a bit of sense.
If there is a chance that you haven't viewed "Hanna" yet, then I am sorry at how brief this write-up is going to be. That is solely because this is a thriller that earns every thrill, a twist that compliments the film's context in a way that left me blindsided. All I am going to say is this, Hanna Heller is a 15-year-old girl who is being trained by her father (Eric Bana) to kill those responsible for murdering Hanna's mother. That's about as much of the story I want to reveal. That whole sentence you learn within the opening moments of the film, and the opening gets the hooks in quick. Even though we've seen Eric Bana and Saoirse Ronan before, I love that they look almost completely unrecognizable. The reality of the situation spills itself over every scene, and its awesome.
As Saoirse Ronan gets older, I think she will become one of the most dependent and talented actresses of her generation. (Just as long as she chooses more projects like "Hanna" and less like "The Host.") She throws herself into to every role and unleashes emotion, conviction and range with each new role. Eric Bana does equally well as Erik Heller, Hanna's father. I have always been a huge fan of Eric Bana, and I feel like this could be one of his career highlights. Bana mixes raw emotion with cutting-edge fight scenes. Even though Bana transforms into full action hero in much of the film, he still plays a real person. Cate Blanchett plays a CIA operative who may have killed Hanna's mother. Blanchett has become several people over the years, and she a snarly villain who becomes seriously scary in many moments.
The film features many action scenes, many of those scenes involving Ronan. Never once do the scenes ever come off cartoonish or silly. The scenes involve a young teenager kicking ass and that's precisely what they look like...a young teenager kicking ass. The film also features great cinematography, great visuals and great editing. The music The Chemical Brothers is pulsing, piercing and fitting. This is definitely some of the best music from a film in all of 2011. Director Joe Wright really went above and beyond to make this different story matter. I am overly happy that he pulled it off.