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Review

Action film ‘Hanna’ lacks character development

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April 28, 2011

“Hanna” is about an average girl named Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) who lives a typical life besides the fact that she lives secluded in the Arctic Circle with her father, Erik (Eric Bana) who is being trained to be an assassin.

Okay, so her life really isn’t that normal, especially when she is dispatched on a mission across Europe where she must meet her dad in Berlin. On their separate journeys they are both being chased by other assassins and Marissa (Cate Blanchett), who is a rugged intelligence agent. She will stop at nothing until both of them are dead.

The real question becomes are the agents after Hanna or her father? You will get the answer when you watch the film, but the real question that needs to be answered is how will Hanna survive in the real world? We get a glimpse into this younger girl’s personality as she begins her stealth-like journey to Berlin. She continually gets questions about her life while questioning others about the world around her. I began to get really interested in this aspect of “Hanna,” but slowly as time progressed, this evolution into the personality of Hanna was pushed aside for more action sequences.

One thing for sure is “Hanna” is very stylized and different from the average action movie. The music is different, there is no over the top explosions, great chase scenes and tremendous hand-to-hand combat scenes. I am not saying that this movie isn’t a little bit over the top, but I feel that aspect adds a more enjoyable element to it. Overall there really isn’t too much of a story or plot here so “Hanna” begins to drag a little bit in the second act. 

Another thing that was missed heavily was that Hanna had the most personality as any other character. Erik and Marissa are both very straight laced characters with little depth so any connection, positive or negative between them, is gone.  You will have no connection with the characters on screen, not even Hanna unfortunately, which is sad because I was no longer cheering for her towards the culmination of the movie.  I was just sitting there watching, instead of really getting emotionally invested.

Director Joe Wright (“Atonement” & “The Soloist”) always has a certain way of directing with terrific camera angles and different styles of music to really get you sucked into the mood of what the audience watching. The major problem is his other accomplishments were so highly regarded because there was great character development, where “Hanna” is so strongly lacking. 

Also, the side story of why Hanna is the way she is could have had more but is very bland. Wright did do a pretty good job at a diverse style of action that felt like it was mixed with a “Grindhouse” film. Overall, “Hanna” was solid but missing a few pieces to help propel it to a strong recommendation level.

Dustyn Dubuque is a history major and geography minor that has a love and passion for film. He watches over 100 films each year and loves Academy Awards season.