I figured a film about a teen assassin starring Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett was a pretty safe bet, but there are just too many credulity-stretching head-scratching moments for Hanna to be any good.
Hanna Heller (Ronan) is a 16 year-old raised in a secluded cabin in Finland by her paranoid father, Erik (Bana). He has trained her since infancy to be the perfect assassin, teaching her several languages and encyclopaediac information – but denying her any contact with the outside world.
When Hanna decides she is “ready”, she presses a button on an old transmitter to alert a shadowy organisation to her presence. Erik, who has prepared her for this moment, immediately flees to Germany and arranges to meet her there later, while she waits for her unknown enemies. After killing a couple of the armed forces who show up to collect her, she is taken to a research facility from which she almost immediately escapes.
Hanna befriends another teen while on the run, and integrates herself into their hippyish family – but soon the baddies are back on her trail again.
There’s a key moment where Hanna is hiding under a bed, and goes to considerable lengths to make sure that the Ultimate Big Bad, Marissa Wiegler (Blanchett), doesn’t find her.
If Hanna is such a kick-ass assassin, why doesn’t she just grab Blanchett’s legs and pull her onto the floor and then kill her? She’s already demonstrated that she can kill with her bare hands.
There are numerous moments when she has the opportunity to kill, and yet she doesn’t take it – despite it being made clear that she has very little in the way of empathy or fear.
HOW IT WOULD HAVE ENDED
Hanna grabs the bad lady’s feet, flips her on her back and snaps her neck – thereby ending this poorly-paced and badly directed wasted opportunity about half an hour earlier than its eventual, spluttering halt.
Despite an excellent cast and enjoyable Chemical Brothers soundtrack, the sloppy pacing and plot holes ruin everything. Him Indoors reckoned it “scraped one star”, whereas I’d have given it a moderately watchable two stars. Neither indicates a very good film, and that’s disappointing. Still, it’s 71% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes indicates our low opinion is in the minority. Perhaps other people were more willing to be baffled.