- Hanna. Directed by Joe Wright. Starring Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett.
Rating: 9 (out of 10)
It's a coming-of-age story, a sci-fi thriller, and a suspense film all crammed into one high-energy package: it's Hanna, from director Joe Wright (Atonement) and local writer Seth Lochhead. Ronan is the lynch-pin to making the whole thing work: she plays the title character, raised in isolation in the Finnish tundra by her father (Eric Bana) who has been training her to be an assassin since birth. Why? Pieces of the puzzle start flying into view the moment Hanna presses a long-buried button, which will alert the CIA to her whereabouts and put her life's training into practice.
There's scarcely a moment to catch your breath after that, as Hanna is pursued by a masochistic CIA agent (Cate Blanchett) and her henchman (Tom Hollander, playing a disconcerting mix of fey and evil) across Finland, Morocco, Germany, and several points in between. The story is a compelling mix of action (aided by The Chemical Brothers creative score) and personal journey of a girl discovering herself for the first time.
There are a multitude of features on the Blu-ray bonus disc. Adapt or Die is a thorough making-of extra with Joe Wright, Saoirse Ronan and Eric Bana, all chatting about how the film hinged on Ronan's fighting ability and believability in the role: "You had to believe her. or the whole film would be a non-starter," says Wright.
Central Intelligence Allegory delves into the fairy-tale archetypes in the film, with writer Seth Lochhead, producer and actors. Wright breaks it all down for us - what's CG, what's location, etc - in Anatomy of a Scene. There's a bit on the Chemical Brothers' large contribution to the mood of the film, plus the road movie aspect of the film in The Wide World of Hanna. Director commentary, alternate ending, deleted scenes, and a promo round out the features.
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