Ever since her breakthrough role in “Atonement” four years ago (which earned her an Academy Award nomination), Saoirse Ronan has proven herself to be one of the best actresses of her generation and a world class talent. In “Hanna”, she carries much of the story on her shoulders, playing the daughter of an ex CIA agent (Eric Bana in top form) who was raised in the snowy wilds of Finland to be the perfect soldier spy. However, she has never been exposed to the outside world, with her only book of reference being the brothers Grimm’s Fairy Tales. One day, her father decides it’s time for her to leave their isolated cabin, and cope with a world she doesn’t know, if she can stay one step ahead of the CIA agents who are going to be on her tail, in particular a lethal female veteran, played with perfection by Cate Blanchett. You can bet the rest of the film is as thrilling as its premise; we get share our heroin’s extremely dangerous odyssey as she runs, hides and kills her way through several countries. Along the way, we understand who she really is, where she came from, and what her connection is with the ruthless Blanchett.
With these two women as the heart and soul of the film, there’s always a lot going on, and none of it uninteresting or dull. I found myself rooting for Ronan’s character every step of the way, and that’s always crucial in movies like “Hanna”. And eventhough the film ends on a predictable note, there’s still plenty to enjoy here: the impressive cinematography, the pulse pounding chase scenes, and a perfect score by The Chemical Brothers (which deserves tons of recognition). Without the score, I believe “Hanna” would have been a different, and far less enjoyable experience altogether.
All in all, “Hanna” is a truly fresh, original, and enjoyable thriller. In a season where so many filmmakers are re-imagining things , ultimately in ways we’ve seen so many times before (case in point: “Hangover 2” and “Pirates Of The Caribbean”), this film is a rare, and might I add, welcome treat.