Violent Cryptic Journey with Depressing Ending
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett,
Eric Bana, Tom Hollander,
Olivia Williams, Jason Flemyng
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Distributor: Focus Features/NBC
Director: Joe Wright
Executive Producer: Barbara A. Hall
Producer: Leslie Holleran, Marty
Adelstein, Scott Nemes
Writer: Seth Lochhead and David Farr
Address Comments To:Brian L. Roberts, Chairman/CEO/President, Comcast Corp.
James Schamus, CEO
Focus Features (A Division of NBC Universal and Comcast)
65 Bleecker St., 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 539-4000; Fax: (212) 539-4099
The movie opens up with Hanna, a teenage girl living in a snowbound cabin in the forest, wounding a deer with an arrow, then shooting it. Soon, it’s revealed that her father, Erik, is training her for something big while they hide out from the authorities. The authorities turn out to be a CIA team, led by a redheaded Southern Belle named Marissa Wiegler.
Finally, Hanna tells Erik that she’s ready to leave, and she turns in a switch that will reveal her whereabouts. As Hanna waits for the CIA team to appear, Erik puts on a suit and walks away, apparently back to civilization. When the CIA team appears, Hanna kills a few of them, then waits for capture.
After capturing Hanna, the CIA puts her into an underground cell. Hanna asks to speak to Melissa, but the CIA sends in an imposter. Thinking that the imposter is really Melissa, however, Hanna, kills her, then shoots her way out of the cell. A chase scene ensues, with Hanna leaving the underground facility and finding herself in the Moroccan desert. Thinking that Melissa is dead, Hanna hides out with an English family, including another girl her age with whom Hanna becomes friends.
Meanwhile, Melissa sends a team of assassins after her while Erik makes his way to the Berlin rendezvous he set up with Hanna before they parted. Likewise, Hanna tries to make her way to Berlin as she crosses into Spain with the English family.
The question arises, Why does Melissa want Hanna and Erik dead? And, what kind of person has Erik created in his daughter?
Regrettably, the answer that comes with these questions turns out to be rather mundane and uninteresting. The answer also leads to a depressing, violent ending that leaves more questions. Also, at one point, Melissa captures the English family and tries to grill them about where Hanna was headed, but the movie never tells us what happens after that to this family. Finally, the movie’s ending and resolution also contains annoying drumbeat music followed by a quirky pop song that makes no sense.
HANNA’s director, Joe Wright, burst on the scene in 2005 with the MOVIEGUIDE® Award winning PRIDE & PREJUDICE. He’s gone pretty much downhill since then by creating quirky, mostly unappealing movies like ATONEMENT, THE SOLOIST and now HANNA. Quirky movies seldom work, especially if you don’t offer something more uplifting and wholesome to moviegoers that either can drive them to tears, inspire them with true heroism or integrity, and/or bring them to real joy or laughter. Movies like ATONEMENT or HANNA may please secular critics or one’s closest friends, but the mainstream audience will reject them – and for good reason!
When the reason Marissa is trying to kill Erik and Hanna is revealed, it turns out to be a rather mundane, uninteresting reason that’s been done better in other movies. The reason also leads to a depressing, violent ending that still leaves viewers wondering why. Thus, the ending leaves viewers hanging and also contains bizarre quirky music that’s annoying. HANNA is the kind of spy thriller that needs a major rewrite.