The Films of 2011: Hanna

The spy/action thriller is low on my list of favorite film genres, so I was surprised to find myself enjoying Joe Wright's new film Hanna, in which Saoirse Ronan plays a teenage assassin looking to avenge her mother's death and reunite with her rogue CIA agent father (Eric Bana). Meanwhile, Cate Blanchett, looking especially icy and severe (was Tilda Swinton unavailable for this part?), dispatches a band of cheeky German henchmen to nab her. As soon as we see Hanna poring over a copy of Grimm's Fairy Tales in an early scene, it's clear that this is meant to be a hip update of "Snow White," with Blanchett playing the role of the bitch-queen/bad mother and Ronan the hunted daughter. The film is slight and often unnecessarily flashy (Bana's character is basically a cipher who serves to look good in and out of his clothes and periodically take part in hand-to-hand combat), but there's still more charm and personality here than is typical for this genre. A comic passage involving a family of British vacationers (headed by Olivia Williams, a pleasure as always) allows the film to breathe for a bit before it hurtles on to its climax. And Ronan makes for a strange, disconcerting action heroine: she has an ethereal, pinched quality that's a welcome change from the usual sculpted-centerfold action movie babe. But PS: can we put a ban on using "In the Hall of the Mountain King" in movies from this point forward?

1 comment:

  1. Looking forward to seeing this. If love enjoy Olivia Williams, be sure to check out Joss Whedon's DOLLHOUSE. Williams plays is-she-or-isn't-she-evil better than anyone.