‘Hanna’ raises the bar for action films (IANS Movie Review)

June 5th, 2011 - 6:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Cate Blanchett Film: “Hanna”; Director: Joe Wright; Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana

Rating: *** 1/2

There is something extremely desirable about a female with a gun, who can punch and shoot her way through impossible odds. Consider “Kill Bill”, “La Femme Nikita”, “Lara Croft” and “Underworld”. The latest addition - “Hanna”, raises the bar for the genre with some delectable action and music, despite a thin storyline.

Sixteen-year-old Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) has been trained by her father (Eric Bana) to be the perfect assassin in a desolate spot below the Arctic circle. When he realises she is ready, he lets her go and take vengeance on the woman who killed her mother, CIA agent Marissa (Cate Blanchett). What ensues is a chase, where Hanna is discovering the sights and sounds of the world for the first time, even as ruthless assassins try to hunt her down.

Considering the basic plot line, Hanna combines cinematic elements from “La Femme Nikita” and “Bourne Identity”. Despite this, and the fact that the Girls With Guns genre has had many successful contenders, “Hanna” turns out to be a delectable and delightful action thriller and brings in a fresh breather.

The credit goes to the writers and directors, who instead of laying out everything from the start, nudge the viewers to find out on their own. This way, a simple story, with expected twists and turns, and a plot we have seen many times before, ends up looking, delightful and original even when it is not.

Action buff will particularly like the impressionist action sequences in the film. In one of the films high points, Eric Bana, takes on scores of assailants in a hand to gun combat while the camera whirls in and around the fallen men through the bizarre minutes. That director Joe Wright uses a long-shot instead of cutting it, shows his confidence as a director.

The casting is impeccable. However it is Cate Blanchett as a ruthless CIA operative, who raises the bar with her performance.

The background score by The Chemical Brothers complements the varying pace of the film and the protagonists mood, from the sublime to the maddening with the perfect tango.

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