Now showing Village and State cinemas
REVIEW Hanna ( M) ★★★★ ■ Director: Joe Wright ( Atonement) Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett, Tom Hollander, Olivia Williams
You can’t handle the youth!
A BREATHLESS and supremely assured mash-up of Run Lola Run and The Professional – with a twist of Kick-Ass on the side – Hanna comes storming off the screen as one of the best action releases of 2011.
From Run Lola Run, the film borrows breakneck pacing and editing, zapped along by a relentless electro soundtrack ( the mighty Chemical Brothers, no less).
From The Professional, it is easy to spot the plotting similarities, as we trail a very young woman literally fighting for her life in a heartless and violent world.
As for Kick-Ass, well, look no further than the unhealthy relationship shared by the title character ( Saoirse Ronan) and her father Erik ( Eric Bana).
A one-time contract assassin for a secret American agency, Erik has trained his daughter in the dark arts from a very early age.
Hiding out in a shack on the rim of the Arctic Circle, Erik has hatched a scheme to wreak a final revenge on his former employers. He holds them responsible for the death of Hanna’s mother.
And now, to even the score, Hanna will be responsible for their deaths.
Once Hanna – a mere slip of a thing about 14 years old – declares she is ready for her macabre mission, Erik sends out a declaration of war. While the signal is picked up and decoded by a former associate, a steely CIA station master named Marisa ( Cate Blanchett), Erik and Hanna make tracks separately towards the city of Berlin, where they will draw their enemies towards the site of a fateful showdown.
The middle act of the film dwells upon Hanna applying all she has learned while fending for herself on the open road. With a trio of henchmen on Marisa’s payroll following her every move, Hanna finds cover with a family of hippies camper-vanning it across Europe.
Once the big chase finally lands in Berlin, the tight grip already exerted by this expertly made production intensifies.
Action fans will find little to fault with what comes to pass.
More serious-minded punters who find the whole exercise a mite too incredulous for words can take solace in the commanding performance of Ronan.
With her bleach-white skin, vacant gaze and unshakeable resolve, Hanna is a tricky-to-process mix of vulnerability and viciousness. Ronan helps us understand this ethereal figure, even though we can rarely relate to her.
Factor in the impeccable support of the Australian duo Eric Bana ( his best effort in many years) and Cate Blanchett ( a top-notch villainess), and you’re looking at the perfect package of pulsating chills and pulpy thrills.
hannathemovie. com Now showing Village and State Cinemas