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Hanna - 3/5/2011 9:05:57 AM   
Empire Admin


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ace - 3/5/2011 9:05:57 AM   

Posts: 122
Joined: 6/11/2005
From: manchester uk
wanted to see this since the first trailer..full of kinetic action scenes,startling visuals and excellent performances...and that review has whetted the appetite even more

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Post #: 2
- 3/5/2011 3:31:07 PM   
Bill Clay


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Joined: 21/5/2009
Yes, definitely on the must-see list.

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RE: - 3/5/2011 4:42:13 PM   


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Joined: 3/5/2011
How was the movie? Can anyone post a detailed review? Thanks!

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Post #: 4
just been to see it - 6/5/2011 7:24:26 PM   


Posts: 47
Joined: 6/9/2006
From: plymouth, uk
yup, would agree with Empire on this one. lots of visually outstanding scenes; the Bana tracking shot is similar to the Nic Cage punch-a-thon from Kick Ass, looks awesome. the whole thing feels like an art house Leon with a thumping Chemical Bros soundtrack. Some of the Grimm references are laid on a bit thick, but minor quibble. A few familar faces round out a great cast. Ian Sommerhalder makes a brilliant bad guy. Sorry i'm no Pauline Kael of reviews, but just go see it. Hoofin'

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Post #: 5
just been to see it - 6/5/2011 7:24:28 PM   


Posts: 47
Joined: 6/9/2006
From: plymouth, uk
yup, would agree with Empire on this one. lots of visually outstanding scenes; the Bana tracking shot is similar to the Nic Cage punch-a-thon from Kick Ass, looks awesome. the whole thing feels like an art house Leon with a thumping Chemical Bros soundtrack. Some of the Grimm references are laid on a bit thick, but minor quibble. A few familar faces round out a great cast. Ian Sommerhalder makes a brilliant bad guy. Sorry i'm no Pauline Kael of reviews, but just go see it. Hoofin'

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Post #: 6
Enjoyed this - 6/5/2011 10:23:18 PM   


Posts: 146
Joined: 28/9/2006
From: UK
Amazing performance from Saoirse Ronan, some terrific action and a very 'Run Lola Run' vibe. My full review here:

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Post #: 7
Stylistically superb - 7/5/2011 11:39:31 AM   


Posts: 103
Joined: 20/2/2009
The first trailer that came out for this almost made the film look like a horror, however nothing of the sort. The style of movie is all over the place in the just-right running time, but in a good way. We go from bleak sub-Arctic forest through a CIA base, Morocco (which surprises you as for all intents and purposes you think you are in Area 51 at this point) and some deliciously grim European backdrops, the French container port, the U-Bahn, the decaying theme park. The friendship Hanna forms with the VW tourer family and Jessica in particular gives the film warmth, we see this tranformation from cold assassin to a typical teenage girl slumber party feel. What gives this film real power is the outstanding score by the Chemical Brothers, dark dystopian techno to match the backdrop. Whilst even young kids would certainly enjoy tbhe film, I felt the violence ramped up enough at the end to seriously threaten the 12A rating, as the action trook on m ore of a thugs in a socio-economically deprived council estate feel. Ultimately it is perhaps a film about a girl discovering what the world-and herself-is, even if the experience is a little intense at first, exemplified by the relentless desert sun beating down on her fair youthful Nordic skin. This is definitely style over substance, sadly leaving not enough substance for a 5 but enough style for a very good 4.

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Post #: 8
RE: Stylistically superb - 7/5/2011 1:52:55 PM   
Wild about Wilder

Posts: 1677
Joined: 9/4/2010
From: Hertfordshire
Really enjoyed this Ronan outstanding is it me or is this the strongest batch of young female actors too come along in decades?
Also this must've sailed close to being a 15cert, shocked that this & Thor both have 12A's

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Post #: 9
Okay - 7/5/2011 2:51:38 PM   


Posts: 12
Joined: 12/10/2005
Just saw this in London. Thought it was okay.
A number of scenes I felt dragged. Acting was good
and stylishly directed but nothing really new to
offer. A 13 year old Bourne?
Methinks Mindy beat Hanna to the punch

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Post #: 10
Ronan is Brilliant - 7/5/2011 5:23:12 PM   


Posts: 238
Joined: 5/12/2009
Excellent film my only gripe is there is one thing that I consider really important in this film that went unanswered which left me pondering. SPOILER ALERT what happened to the nice family. I would welcome a Hanna sequel.

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Post #: 11
Sensational - 7/5/2011 6:38:04 PM   


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Joined: 2/11/2009
Worth it alone for the continuous shot at the bus terminal.

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Post #: 12
RE: Hanna - 7/5/2011 9:31:59 PM   


Posts: 355
Joined: 23/6/2006
Director: Joe Wright
Screenwriters: Seth Lochhead, David Farr
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett, Tom Hallander, Olivia Williams, Jason Flemyng

As a sixteen-year-old who’s been raised by her father (Bana), Hanna (Ronan) who is training to be the perfect assassin, is dispatched on a mission across Europe to kill the ruthless intelligence agent Marissa Wiegler (Blanchett).

A few weeks ago, I went to see Catherine Hardwicke’s Red Riding Hood which though I enjoyed, it certainly lacked the dark fairy-tale aspect that previous adaptations have carried. Plus Hardwicke’s film was an attempt to capture that teenage angst that she explored in Twilight in order to hit that youth market. If you’re a fan of works like the other Red adaptation Freeway or even David Lynch’s Wild at Heart, then you might be engrossed by Joe Wright’s latest.

Having helmed literary adaptations like Pride and Prejudice and Atonement (also plans on adapting Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina), Joe Wright does seem to be an odd choice to helm an actioner featuring a sixteen-year-old assassin. The director has said that the work of David Lynch was a major influence for him (as I’ve mentioned the aforementioned Wild at Heart), and whilst watching this, that influence shines through as there is a level of surrealism within the narrative and characters.

While last year’s terrific Kick-Ass is most memorable for featuring a young girl who is foul-mouthed and slaughters everyone, Hanna takes a different approach towards the tone and characteristics of its eponymous protagonists. Instead on a tone that is comic book-inflected, the film is really an espionage thriller about the search of a true identity (like the Bourne series) but told in the vein of a Grimms’ fairy tale, hence the young Hanna reading a fairy tale book, as well as an encyclopaedia.

While Kick-Ass is pure wit throughout, Hanna takes a more subtle approach as a lot of the film is our hero experiencing life like a new-born during a road trip with a deliberately annoying family travelling on a campervan. However, when the story solely focuses on Hanna and her journey of self-discovery, the film is a triumph due to its star. Saoirse Ronan, who has not made a foot wrong, brilliantly captures quirkiness to the role which requires unknowingness to the outside world and will fight for life, even in a really violent matter. She may not be as foul-mouthed as Hit-Girl, Ronan has moments of charm and humour.

A lot of the supporting cast, like Hanna, do consist of strong accents which could seem peculiar. Eric Bana as Erik Heller who though functions as a caring father, he is a tough mentor towards his daughter. Although he does appear as some Euro Bourne, Bana brings an uncertainty to whether his actions towards his daughter are good or bad. In scene-chewing fashion, Tom Hollander in a truly sadistic role, not just because of his pleasure of violence, but because he’s wearing an appalling 80s track suit.

With his Lynchian influence echoing upon this, Joe Wright has outdone himself as what he provides is a style that is surreal and European towards the American espionage thriller. Like Christopher Nolan, he brings an arthouse sensibility to what could easily been a big-budget blockbuster although despite having the 12A certificate, it is not for children due to the violence which will be somewhat surprising for a mainstream audience. Despite the strong kinetic action sequences, choreographed by fight coordinator Jeff Imada, Wright actually wished the film to be more violent.

As I thought that Daft Punk did the best soundtrack last year for Tron: Legacy, The Chemical Brothers are a strong contender for this year’s best soundtrack. After the first section of the film set in the snowy forest, the chemical music kicks in with its addictive thumping and deep funkiness. At the start of every action sequence, the music starts with subtle beats and grows bigger and bigger, and suddenly you have the need to head-bang.

As much as I really enjoyed this, the film is not without its flaws most notably that though the ideas are playfully interesting, the climatic confrontation doesn’t lead to any final reservation and some questions are left unanswered. So because of that, it’s hard to sympathise with Cate Blanchett’s villainous witch who is just sinister from beginning to end, along with the use of a strong Texan accent. If there are plans of making Hanna Deux as a way of continuing the character’s journey of self-discovery, it’s really up for grabs.

Although being a departure for the director from his costume period settings, Wright presents an engaging arty fairy tale within the body of the American espionage thriller, while Saoirse Ronan is at the top of her game.

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Post #: 13
Hanna-tastic(mostly) - 8/5/2011 12:12:09 AM   


Posts: 18
Joined: 5/6/2009
From: Doncaster
.......Saw this today and both me and my wife thoroughly enjoyed it,although personally i find myself being a little perturbed at the recent trend that has young women and girls as trained killers,(equality, i suppose), or am i old-fashioned.That said,the acting,music,cinematography and direction were first class.There (should),must be a sequel......

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Post #: 14
- 8/5/2011 12:37:45 AM   


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Quirky and different. Deserves recognition for thinking outside the box.

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Post #: 15
RE: - 8/5/2011 3:10:59 PM   

Posts: 734
Joined: 6/6/2006
It was good to see a different type of movie in the cinema.  There aren't that many action movies featuring teenagers in them.  However i felt that this movie was more style over substance.  The plot was too thin and there was not enough action for me.  Certain parts of it did drag on.

However the lead actress was great.

3/5 for me.

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Post #: 16
ill-paced crap - 9/5/2011 8:51:42 AM   


Posts: 1
Joined: 15/5/2006
I knew nothing of this film before seeing it. I have since read a lot of 4 star reviews and I cannot understand it.
There are so many things wrong with the movie. Lets start with Eric Bana training his daughter to be a killer/assassin or whatever. In all of this schooling where he teaches multiple languages and imparts vast knowledge so Hana will be 'ready' for whats to come, he fails to explain the situation to Hana so when she finds things out about her past she falls apart. Hana is looking for who she is, but her father could have told her that. He could have prepared her emotionally.
Also they are off the grid for 16 years and no one is looking for them, so why live in the woods without any electricity. I didn't get the impression that they had to live as remote as they did. So much so that Hana had real difficulty integrating into the world where she had to excel. My main gripe was the switch. The 'when you are ready switch'. If you are training someone to be an assassin, why when you are going to send them out would you alert the all powerful target to their existence? No one was looking for them, the 'programme' had been shut down for 16 years and everything had moved on. What sort of switch/button is it anyway? So Eric Bana leaves Hana to be caught and then has some convoluted meeting point which he misses yet still knows how to find her. This film is peppered with stupid encounters which make no sense.
The underneath the bedclothes friendship is confusing as joe wright breaks the line and both Hana and her british pal are facing the same way. The chase at the end makes no sense as from chasing Cate Blanchett manages to take such a short cut that she appears opposite Hana. Cate Blanchett has the upper hand and decides to run away. It is so shit. There is so much that is awful in the film that I cannot understand such forgiveness.

< Message edited by TedBovis -- 9/5/2011 8:53:31 AM >

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Post #: 17
RE: ill-paced crap - 9/5/2011 1:57:44 PM   


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Joined: 13/4/2006
Might be seeing this today, certainly plan on going this week, it is a departure for the director, and the cast are very strong, also the central idea is a good twist the fumlua, I get the impression some strands might be a bit too unbelieveable, but will go along with a open mind.

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Post #: 18
RE: ill-paced crap - 10/5/2011 9:33:17 PM   
Dr Lenera


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Joined: 19/10/2005

Hanna is a sixteen year old girl living out in the Finnish wilderness with her father Erik, who has been training her to be an assassin with an ultimate goal.  When Hanna says she is ready, Erik activates a homing beacon, resulting in US marines appearing and capturing Hanna.  They take her for questioning at a top secret base, whereupon she asks to see the head of the operation Marissa Wiegler.  She is presented with a double of her, whom she executes, thinking she’s killing Marissa, then after also killing her guards, she escapes.   Hanna wants only to reunite with her father but once outside the base realises she’s in the middle of Morocco, and Marissa is after her……….  

I remember first hearing about Hanna in 2009, when Danny Boyle was developing a screenplay with Seth Lochhead, but Boyle, as he often does, bailed on a project he wasn’t sure about.   The finished screenplay eventually got Joe Wright as a director, something I wasn’t sure about.   I loved Atonement, but The Soloist and Pride and Prejudice were just kind of okay to me.  Then again, although I do pride myself on having diverse taste, certain things ,like Jane Austen, I just don’t ‘get’!  I needn’t have worried though-Hanna is quite a unique and interesting film.  I suppose it could be described as The Bourne Identity meets the Hit Girl subplot of Kick Ass, with maybe a bit of Daryl in there too, but it’s also uniquely it’s own movie.  Perhaps many of the ingredients aren’t too original, but the way they’ve been put together is rather striking.   You could call it an action film for the Art House crowd, or a modern day compendium of various fairytales, and on both counts you’d be partially right, but don’t let either of those two descriptions put you off,  the movie is more than that!

The film opens with Hanna shooting a deer with a bow and arrow, then gutting the dead creature, in a beautifully shot sequence set in the Finnish snow rife with symbolism, some of which I didn’t get till later on.  Then, with great economy, we are shown Hanna’s bizarre life with her father and even a training montage.  Any disturbing elements, for the moment, are removed-Hanna is seen to enjoy her life and her hard work, but then Hanna sees a plane flying overhead,and Erik decides she is ‘ready’ for whatever it is she is being trained to do.  When she supposedly carries out her mission and goes on a lengthy trek, the movie does become a strange kind of action movie, but one that often slows down to give an odd kind of reality to proceedings.   Much time is spent showing Hanna trying to fit in to the strange new world she has found herself in, and there’s an especially long segment showing her spending time with an English family, especially her daughter Sophie. Their brief friendship is rather sweet.  I’ve read that some people, probably those who expected a pure action movie from the rather misleading trailer, have got bored with this stuff in the movie, but I rather liked it, partly because, even though there are certainly plenty of exaggerated elements and even some borderline-fantastical ones, the slower scenes helped me believe what I was watching.  A great deal of effort has been made for the title character to seem as real as possible, and her reactions to things, from a grotty hotel room to a boy after a kiss, seem very natural, certainly exactly how her character would react.

The action itself is often strikingly filmed, there may not be tons of but I doubt you’ll forget it for quite some time.   Each action sequence is shot in a different way, and yes, there’s a bit of the old shakycam/quick cut/close up stuff which every action director seems to feel necessary to foisture upon us, but not very much.  There’s a fantastic chase around lorry crates where the combination of the quick but well chosen images [I absolutely adored some shots where you see the villains running after Hanna and she can be seen jumping from crate to crate behind them!] and the Chemical Brothers’ music [more on that later] are really quite exhilarating, I felt some of that rush that I feel a great action sequence should give us.   Best of all, there’s a wonderful scene where Erik is followed by some villains, and the camera follows him and sometimes turns to show his pursuers, all in one take.  Finally he ‘takes them out’ with some Jason Bourne-style moves, and still this is one take.  This kind of filming, the type that used to be practiced by directors such as Brian De Palma, isn’t seen much today amidst all the MTV style stuff that is everywhere, so hurray for Joe Wright!  I will say that many scenes would probably be quite ordinary if it wasn’t for the way they were filmed, and I would have preferred a more interesting climax, but Wright seemed more interested in the location of the sequence, a park with a fairytale house, and the symbolism and references that come with it.

There are indeed tons of allusions in this movie and I found some of them rather heavy handed, for instance you have Marissa the villainess emerging from the head of a large model wolf!  I was more impressed with the way the script steadfastly refused to give much away on things like the backstory, something which was supposedly Wright’s doing.  Apparently he chipped away at the original script, making things far more oblique.  I was expecting a certain revelation towards the end of the movie, but it didn’t come-yet I still feel there were hints to it’s possibility.   This approach seems to have been criticised too, but I really liked it, because it treats the viewer as an intelligent person capable of making up his or her own mind.  Overall the script is strong and I especially liked the way it avoided sentiment, yet still ended up being quite touching at times.  Now there is a very dark and twisted aspect to the story, and I would have perhaps preferred the movie to have gone into that element a bit, rather than whitewashing everything, it would have seemed more honest.  I’m also unsure about the current vogue for very young heroines who can kick spectacular ‘arse’, in a very exaggerated version of female empowerment, but there’s no doubt that Hanna is a great movie character, someone who I think could be the subject of sequels given proper handling, though coming out of the cinema my friend and I were saying how great it would be if she was pitted against Hit Girl!

Right after Atonement I though Saoirse Ronan was an extroadinary little actress, and, though The Lovely Bones [which I actually liked] didn’t meet with a very good reception, I doubt anyone could criticise Ronan in it, in what was a very difficult role.  Her snub by the Academy was criminal.  Here, she has another very difficult role, but plays it perfectly, she very subtly gets the pathos of Hanna and somehow convinces that she could break a person’s neck and dispatch several guards in a few seconds.  She’s absolutely mesmerising, though I will say that she has a slightly ‘haunted’ look that is perhaps most appropriate to bizarre characters/situations.  I here she’s probably starring in The Host, which is from a Stephanie Meyer book, and I think it’ll be the worst possible thing for her [if you’re reading this Saoirse, DON’T DO IT!].  Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett are okay in their roles though Bana sounds like Arnold Schwarzenegger at times, which sadly almost made me laugh, while Blanchett plays it very hammy, obviously her choice but a bit out of synch and I don’t think she’s that good at this kind of role [see also Indiana Jones].  Far better is Tom Hollander as the perverse killer Isaacs, he’s blackly humorous but still scary and hints at things a ‘12A’ rated film couldn’t show.  Now I expected the soundtrack by the Chemical Brothers to be strictly average after the disappointment of Daft Punk’s work on Tron:Legacy, but it’s actually very impressive, with some wonderful pieces that function both as great dance or ambient tracks and also descriptive scoring, especially during the action scenes.  In most aspects, Hanna far exceeded my expectations, it makes things which have perhaps been done to death seem new and fresh again, and that’s a pretty great achievement considering almost everything now seems to have been done before!


check out more of my reviews on

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Post #: 19
RE: ill-paced crap - 10/5/2011 11:02:47 PM   


Posts: 10460
Joined: 15/12/2005
Saw this yesterday and really enjoyed it. The pacing was pretty messy though, it could have easily have lost the bit in the ship container yard.

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Post #: 20
RE: ill-paced crap - 11/5/2011 12:32:12 AM   

Posts: 1264
Joined: 8/11/2005
From: Belfast
Just back from seeing this film.  I really enjoyed it.  I also agree that the filmed suffered from pacing problems but I couldn't fault the acting from all involved.  The soundtrack from the Chemical Brothers was excellent, I'm still humming the tune from the container yard scene.  8/10


As you can see, my young apprentice, your friends have failed. Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL battle station!

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Post #: 21
hanna - 11/5/2011 8:51:08 PM   


Posts: 90
Joined: 1/10/2005
Went to watch this on the strength of the Empire review. I should have known better. Average at best.

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Post #: 22
Hanna's bananas! - 12/5/2011 9:10:50 AM   


Posts: 90
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Kirkcaldy
Excellent film! A brilliant and neat interpretation of the spy/chase genre. OK, so it comes across as a bit 'junior Bourne' but it's done so well you'll forgive it for that. Ronan is the standout giving the title character some real edge but also letting us see the innocence and bewilderment of being in a strange enovironment (she's never seen a TV before but when asked if she speaks Arabic she replies 'Of course I do'!). The other leads (Bana and Blanchett) are both excellent as well, Blanchett in particular giving the evil pursuer some nice little quirks of character. And top all this with a pounding soundtrack from The Chemical Brothers and we have one of the best action flicks of the year.

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Post #: 23
Bit of a let down.... - 14/5/2011 5:09:38 PM   
The kUrGaN


Posts: 47
Joined: 22/3/2006
Was looking forward to this. The pace was all over the place, way too slow in parts. Bits of weird / abstract scenes thrown in gave some scenes almost a David Lynch tinged atmosphere, and the abandoned theme park is a nice touch but honestly I thought it was a little bit of a mess generally...just watchable but nothing special.Oh, the elctro thumping soundtrack worked very well in the action scenes, synching perfectly and giving an extra dimension well done for that.

< Message edited by The kUrGaN -- 14/5/2011 5:11:34 PM >

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Post #: 24
RE: Bit of a let down.... - 16/5/2011 12:34:10 PM   

Posts: 8086
Joined: 31/7/2008
I enjoyed this movie. A cerebral action thriller, perhaps even more so than the Bourne films as it moves at a more leisurely pace. Joe Wright is to be commended for not allowing it to become to bogged down with itself (though it must be said he runs it close at times). The soundtrack by the Chemical Brothers was an inspired choice, and the cinematography is lovely at times. The criticisms I have are minor - some of the action scenes are a little chaotic, one of the major reveals felt wildly out of tone and there are one or two story threads within the film that are abandoned without warning or hurried to conclusion.

However, if there's one thing that struck me after watching this film, it's that the world is Saoirse Ronan's oyster. She is utterly convincing as Hanna, and eclipses the rest of the impressive cast with her performance. On the evidence of Atonement and now this, she and Joe Wright work very well together and I would look forward to any further collaborations between the two.

Well worth a watch.

< Message edited by superdan -- 16/5/2011 12:36:27 PM >

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Post #: 25
RE: Hanna - 18/5/2011 10:20:07 AM   


Posts: 683
Joined: 16/3/2008
From: South Wales
Watched it yesterday. It looked marvelous, especially the earlier scenes, but there wasn't really much substance to it. It's not the slowness or general pace which bothered me, I was fully aware it wasn't an action fest before sitting down, more that it was slowly paced coupled with an overly simplistic and uninvolving story.
To put it simply, I didn't really give a shit about any of the characters.
Still watchable though, just not quite as great as I was expecting.

The action sequences were neither here nor there. The few didn't that did turn up didn't exactly get my heart racing. Infact that 5 minute tracking shot of Bana was a massive letdown, the fisticuffs were over in the blink of an eye, even though I'd read reviews stating it was one of the finest action sequences in a decade. (They clearly haven't watched many films over the last 10 years) The couple of 'showy' long takes in Children Of Men were far more impressive.

Lastly the soundtrack. It was alright, it only seemed to come to life in the action sequences, and the only track that really stood out was the one at the docking yard. I much preferred Daft Punk's efforts with Tron.

3/5 I'd give it.

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Post #: 26
RE: Hanna - 20/5/2011 9:04:52 AM   

Posts: 17996
Joined: 3/1/2006
From: Norwich
First and foremost the impression I got from this film was that it came across very similar to a low budget 80's film from Australia. the second was that the slight plot was not really enough to sustain the film itself and as so I got the impression there was a lot of filler in there. the action scenes were few and far between which would not be an issue if enough was going on of interest in the background to maintain it and subtlety was not a word in the directors dictionary when shaping the film a he slathered on the various messages with a wide paintbrush rather than with fine strokes.


Nothing to see here.

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Post #: 27
Unique - 7/6/2011 8:25:36 AM   


Posts: 98
Joined: 26/12/2008
From: Malta
Brilliant acting and interestingly filmed action make Hanna a new, cool and unique version of the revenge thrillers we're used to seeing by now.

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Post #: 28
- 17/6/2011 11:29:15 PM   


Posts: 105
Joined: 21/4/2008
Fast and intense in so good way you don't even realize how stupid it is.

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Post #: 29
RE: - 26/6/2011 2:53:48 AM   


Posts: 8
Joined: 9/5/2011
I understand that people aren't going to like it, but I honestly don't agree with others who say this is "average." It's anything but average. It's exquisite. It's f*ckin' refreshing.

Hanna is character driven story, so any secondary roles will be just that - secondary, so don't expect much character development. The story is 100% about Hanna and her journey. The use of fairy tales was clever. Music was great with solid acting from all cast members. Once again Ronan proves that she is one of the most talented actresses of her generation. I'll go as far to say she is THE best of her generation.

Plotting was paper thin but that didn't bother me since the story is given just enough to carry on. The story itself isn't new, but the way it was executed and envisioned was. Not your typical run-of-the-mill action thriller. Hanna has heart and brains.

This film will be polarizing due it not following the generic action thriller frame. What makes this film so good is its ability to become a hybrid of art house and action. Two characteristics not usually combined, but it works damn fine.

This is indeed Joe Wright's experimental film, and he succeeds. Count this film being a cult classic in the near future.


Fast and intense in so good way you don't even realize how stupid it is.

It's far from stupid.  You should give it another shot.

< Message edited by OfficeSpace -- 26/6/2011 3:01:35 AM >

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Post #: 30
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