main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Film: Hanna

"I just missed your heart."

A 2011 action-thriller (with Speculative Fiction elements) starring Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett, reuniting Ronan with Atonement director Joe Wright.

Hanna (Ronan) is a teenage girl brought up in the frozen wastes of Finland with her father Erik (Bana) who has been training her to be the perfect assassin. On a mission from her father, Hanna treks across Europe towards an uncertain goal while being pursued by a shadowy CIA operative (Blanchett). Hanna begins to uncover details of her past and about her true nature all the while poignantly coming to grips with a totally unfamiliar world and kicking more than the occasional ass.

The film boasts a soundtrack by ''The Chemical Brothers'' and striking cinematography.

Hanna has also gained some recent notoriety after it was revealed that it's writer will also be working on the screenplay for the Shadow of the Colossus movie.

Be warned: spoilers ahead.

Tropes Include:

  • Acting Unnatural: The agent following Erik down the stairs.
  • Action Girl: Hanna, naturally.
  • Adorkable: Hanna, as well as Erik, to an extent.
  • Air-Vent Passageway
  • All There in the Manual: Isaacs' first name is Michael, and his henchmen are named Titch and Razor.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Invoked with Hanna. She rejects the Spanish boy's kiss, but kisses a girl later on. Considering her upbringing, it's not likely that sexuality is something she understands very well.
  • Animal Motifs: Goes hand in hand with Fairy Tale Motifs. For example, Marissa is both The Big Bad Wolf (obsessed with her teeth, pursues a little girl, emerges from a wolf's maw in the climax) and the Cunning Vixen (red-headed, crafty and mendacious).
  • Badass:
  • Big Bad: Marissa Wiegler.
  • Bi the Way: Sophie, or at least she'll try it as the cool thing to do.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: Isaacs.
  • Body Double: Marissa sends one in to meet with Hanna rather than go near her herself.
  • Book Ends/Meaningful Echo: "I just missed your heart," followed by a gunshot and a cut to the title
  • Bourgeois Bohemian: Sophie's parents, Rachel and Sebastian. Especially Rachel.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Sophie. At first.
  • Brutal Honesty: In the sense of lacking tact rather than being nice. When asked how her mother died, Hanna bluntly responds that she was shot three times.
  • Call to Adventure: Hanna believes she's "ready" for the world. When Erik agrees, he gives her a radio transponder that will reveal their position to the CIA (specifically, Marissa) if she chooses to switch it on.
  • Camp Straight: Isaacs' sexuality is pretty ambiguous.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The camera focused on Weigler's shoes more than strictly necessary, but it's still surprising that they cause her to trip and fall to her death.
    • Chekhov's Skill: As soon as Hanna grabbed the arrow in the climax, everybody knew how the movie would end.
  • Child Soldier: Hanna puts all other child soldiers to shame.
  • CIA: It was involved in some shady stuff. They had been genetically modifying fetuses to grow up to be efficient killing machines.
  • Climbing Climax
  • Container Maze: Features a (particularly epic) chase scene through one of these. Word of God says the setting was chosen because the stacks of containers were reminiscent of the building blocks of some gigantic child.
  • Creepy Child: Hanna is incredibly sweet, innocent and soft-spoken...but will shoot a solider in the face without hesitation.
    • Miles, Sophie's little brother, takes a lot of pictures but doesn't talk much.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death‎: Issacs and this thugs hang Mr. Grimm by the ankles and use him for target practise with a makeshift bow.
  • Cute Bruiser: Hanna through and through.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: Marissa, who sends in a Body Double to meet with Hanna rather than get near her herself. For that matter, so is the guy monitoring the CCTV when he realizes Hanna's behavior isn't quite right.
  • Death by Falling Over: Marissa. Although it was the bullet to the heart that finished her off, slipping and falling down the slide (while having already lost a lot of blood from an arrow to the hip) played a significant role in her downfall.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Isaacs runs a back-alley prostitution club that caters to extreme sexual tastes.
  • The Dragon: Isaacs to Marissa.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: The Moroccan facility
  • Emotionless Girl: Hanna, or so it seems for a while.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Isaac's mooks are Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Isaacs all the way.
  • Evil Redhead: Marissa.
  • Expy: Hanna is what you'll likely get if you mixed Rei Ayanami with Laura Kinny.
  • Fairy Tale Motifs
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: Erik's training means Hanna can take down a reindeer or a squad of goons, he drills her on several languages and reads the encyclopaedia to her. But things like music and fiction are off-message, and Hanna only reads a book of fairy tales.
  • Fractured Fairy Tale: An inevitable interpretation of the movie, thanks to the numerous fairy-tale Shout Outs.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Used several times, particularly when Marissa shoots Hanna's grandmother and when Erik impales Isaacs, probably to keep the PG-13 rating. Still, it's pretty intense.
  • Granola Girl: Rachel seems to be this what with her lectures about not wearing make-up and her general hippie tendencies.
  • Grimmification: Kind of. The movie can be interpreted as a fractured modern fairy-tale that plays the horror in its sources for all its worth.
    • Fittingly, Hanna owns a copy of Grimm's fables, and a Grimm-themed theme park is featured heavily in the third act, watched over by a man named Wilhelm Grimm.
  • Hates Being Touched: Implied with Hanna.
  • Hidden Depths: Hanna comes off as cold and disconnected on the outside, but experiences very strong emotions and a deep sense of wonder.
  • Hitman with a Heart: Hanna, again!
  • Hoist by Her Own Petard: At the end of the film, Marissa is killed with her own Walther PP by Hanna.
  • I Am Not Your Father: It seemed to genuinely pain him to admit it.
  • Idiot Ball: Riding along in Sophie's family's camper van, Hanna notices that they are being tailed, presumably by people wishing to hunt her down. She says nothing about this, even when Sophie's mother stops to read the map. It's possible that she didn't want to alarm the family by telling them.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The fate of Isaacs, although we don't really see it (see Gory Discretion Shot).
  • Impromptu Tracheotomy: "Can I borrow your pen?"
  • Improvised Weapon: Need an instant bow to shoot your arrow? Why not a bungee cord?
  • Indy Hat Roll: Hanna, as she escaped the CIA holding facility.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: Isaac's leitmotif (The Devil is in the Details) sounds like this.
  • Jump Scare: Hanna opens the curtains to a window and we see Marissa's eye. Complete with Scare Chord.
  • Kill 'em All: By the end of the movie, Hanna is probably the only named character still alive (five characters if Sophie and her family were left alive, since whether or not they were killed is up to debate), and how long that's true depends on how bad the gunshot wound was. The alternate ending (which, in all honesty, really just adds to the movie's ending rather than change it), shows that she does survive, however.
  • Laser Guided Tyke Bomb: Hanna.
  • Last of Her Kind: Hanna is the sole survivor of a super soldier program terminated by Marissa.
  • Leave No Witnesses: Isaacs is fond of torturing and killing the people he interrogates. Whether or not Marissa let Sophie and her family go free is left up in the air.
  • Le Parkour: A little bit in the shipping-container scene.
  • Leitmotif: Isaacs' theme, first heard in the club, then later with Isaac whistling. Hanna also gets her own theme, aptly titled "Hanna's theme."
  • Little Miss Badass: The Movie.
  • Little Red Riding Hood: The film is full of visual and verbal references, of varying levels of directness, to Grimm's Fairytales in general and this story in particular.
  • Mama Bear: Implied with Marissa. She's not the biological mother, but it's touched on a few times that she may consider herself something of a mother to Hanna as Marissa had headed the project that created Hanna. Epitomized when she screams, "Don't you walk away from me, young lady!" at the end.
  • Mutual Kill: By the film's end, subverted in that Hanna survives while Marissa was mortally wounded.
  • Neck Snap: Hanna uses a rare from-the-front version to kill the false Marissa.
  • Not-So-Innocent Whistle: Isaacs has a particularly creepy one.
  • Ominous Music Box Tune: The Sandman.
  • Omniglot: Hanna is incredibly adept at foreign languages.
  • The Oner: A particularly impressive one. Going from a long walk to an expertly choreographed brawl with a handful of mooks.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Saoirse Ronan just can't decide how thick to make Hanna's German accent.
    • Which is funny considering that when her character actually do speaks german in one earlier scene her pronouncation sounds heavily off, as any native speaker will immediately recognize.
      • But it's worth noting that it's not entirely certain what Hanna's first language is supposed to be.
    • Australian Cate Blanchett dons a southern accent. It's not entirely convincing, although the character is implied to be German.
    • Also in-universe, Hanna and Erik's accents show up even when they're speaking foreign languages.
  • Out, Damned Spot!: The first time we see Marissa, she wakes up and goes through her morning routine, including brushing her teeth. Later, as she's wound up by events, we see her brushing her teeth again, hard enough to draw blood.
  • Posthumous Character: Johanna Zadek, Hanna's mother.
  • Post Modernism: One interpretation.
  • Properly Paranoid: Marissa and her Body Double.
  • Putting on the Reich: Isaac's goons dress like neo-nazis skinheads. But they're actually S.H.A.R.P. skinheads.
  • Raised by Wolves:
    • Erik might have taught Hanna to be a brutal fighter, drilled the encyclopedia and several languages into her, but basic human interaction is a bit beyond her.
    • Hanna's time with Sophie's family particularly emphasizes this, her First Kiss being an excellent example.
  • Redemption Equals Death: After being the "recruiter" of the super-soldier experiment, Erik dedicates the last fourteen years of his life ensuring that Hanna will have the strength to survive, even attempting to give her a good (albeit incomplete) academic education. After Hanna learns the truth about him, he draws everyone's attention so she can get away. Just as he dispatches the hitmen, Marissa finally catches up with him and kills him.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Sophie and Hanna, lampshaded in that Sophie wears pink and Hanna wears blue in many of their scenes together.
  • Red Shirt Army: Refreshingly scarce. There are a few Red Shirt deaths, but not as much as you might expect in an action movie.
  • Revealing Coverup
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Sophie and Hanna.
  • Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: Hanna is a total badass, but socially inept and new to the world. This is particularly noticeable in the scene in the Moroccan hotel when she is overcome with sensory overload thanks to all of the electric gadgets around.
  • Scenery Porn: And how! There are gorgeous shots of a frozen lake in Finland and the deserts of Morocco especially. And there's the decaying amusement park in Germany too.
  • Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: Saoirse Ronan is about to shoot you with an arrow.
  • Sensory Overload: Hanna has had virtually no interaction with modern technology. You can imagine the panic when she finds herself surrounded by a boiling electrical kettle, a loud TV, a humming ceiling fan and the buzz of flickering florescent lights. It really doesn't help that some military helicopters are seen on TV, considering the CIA raided her house with helecopters.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Hanna.
  • Ship Tease: Hanna and Sophie. It's the strongest connection Hanna makes. Also, they kiss, though the commentary suggests that Hanna sees a kiss as a sign of love, not sex. Sophie is also still willing to lie for her even after she sees Hanna brutally beat people. And then there's the fact that Sophie's first thought upon meeting Hanna again was 'I might like to be a lesbian.'
  • Shown Their Work: When fleeing from the Galinki faculty, Erik and Johanna are driving a Polish car (Polonez), which was heavily in use during the 1990s. It even spots a period-accurate registration plates.
  • Shrinking Violet: Hanna to the extreme, due to having no human contact her whole life except for Erik.
    • Sophie's brother Miles is pretty shy. Word of God says he has a bit of a crush on Hanna.
  • Skirt over Slacks: Worn by Hanna during the flamenco date scene.
  • Smug Snake: Marissa.
  • Spit Take: Sebastian has one of these when Hanna joins them for dinner:
    Rachel: What did your mother die of, Hanna?
    Hanna: (Deadpan) Three bullets.
    Sebastian: *Spit Take*
  • Super OCD: Implied with Marissa. The way she brushes her teeth, combined with her desire to hunt down Hanna and Erik to "tie up loose ends" and her generally anxious and prowling personality.
  • Super Soldier: Hanna is the sole survivor from one of these programs terminated by Marissa. If you go to the viral website ( you can view a picture of her personnel file - apparently the CIA was growing super-soldiers for the United States Army. Whether the Army was involved, or even KNEW, is unknown - especially as any apparent Army personnel in on the project could be CIA plants (not that any Army personnel are depicted in the movie...).
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Hanna and Sophie.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • The Body Double. She is repeatedly told to break physical contact from Hanna after being "hugged," and then she fails to heed the multiple orders to abort altogether. She's too busy trying to console a girl who needed detaining and a psych evaluation while pretending to be somebody else who was wary enough of the situation to send in a doppelganger in the first place.
    • Issacs, in his efforts to follow Hanna, literally tailgates her for several hours.
    • The agents that try to kill Erik catch him in an open, empty subway platform, and they have guns. They could just shoot him ... but instead try to grab him first, allowing Erik to fight them hand to hand, where he has the advantage. And they knew he was very dangerous.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: If you watched the trailer closely, there will be few surprises for you in the film.
  • Training from Hell: Hanna spent her childhood learning to be constantly on guard, even while sleeping, with her father springing attacks without warning.
  • Tyke Bomb: Hanna, obviously.
  • Underside Ride: Hanna grabs onto the bottom of an armored vehicle from an access tunnel, clings to it, and drops off, momentum be damned.
  • Unkempt Beauty: Hanna.
    • Sophie's mother, Rachel is a fan of this trope in general.
  • What Happened To Sophie And Her Family?: We do get to see missing posters for the family. The original script outright shows that they survived, Hanna sends a postcard to Sophie at the end, so that's something, at least.
  • Wicked Stepmother: Marissa, with her creepy mother-like feelings towards Hanna.
  • X Meets Y:

Hall PassFilms of the 2010sHellraiser: Revelations

alternative title(s): Hanna
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy