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Film: Hanna

"I just missed your heart."

An offbeat 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 attention 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:

  • The Ace: Hanna Heller, 15-year old Teen Genius assassin extraordinaire.
    • Broken Ace: She becomes one by the end of the film.
  • Acting Unnatural: The agent following Erik down the stairs.
  • Action Dad: Erik Heller.
  • Action Girl: Hanna, naturally.
  • Adorably Precocious Child: Hanna, arguably.
  • 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.
    • Marissa's past dealings with Erik are left up to the viewer's interpretation in the film, but the script outright states that they are both American and were married at the time of the Super Soldier experiments.
  • All Work vs. All Play: Sophie takes Hanna on a date to a Flamenco festival, where she learns to have fun for the very first time.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Rachel is pretty open-minded about what it's acceptable to talk to children about; Sophie clearly wishes she were a bit less so.
  • Ambiguous Innocence: Hanna. The story questions the amount of distance between Hanna's willingness to kill, and her spiritual and emotional purity.
  • 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).
  • Anyone Can Die: by the end of the film, nearly everyone except Hanna is dead.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Sophie, jumping from one topic to the next mid-sentence.
  • Badass:
  • Berserk Button: Marissa not having children seems to be a sore spot for her. Also see Mama Bear below.
  • Big Bad: Marissa Wiegler.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Hanna is free to live a normal life at last, but everyone she loves is either dead or left to an ambiguous fate.
  • 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 Wiegler'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: The arrow that Hanna grabs before the climax is very important.
  • 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.
    • It's not entirely clear whether this was a CIA operation or a Soviet/East German operation that the CIA took over when Communism fell.
  • Climbing Climax
  • Color Motif: Blue and gray for Hanna, green for Marissa, and pink for Sophie.
  • Combat Parkour: Hanna's fighting style, using Le Parkour to confuse and separate her enemies, her agility to dodge their stronger blows and her Tyke Bomb Training from Hell to exploit any opening instinctively.
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror: Hanna, who was taught from toddlerhood how to spill blood and snap necks.
  • 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...and will shoot a soldier in the face without hesitation.
    • Miles, Sophie's little brother, takes a lot of pictures but doesn't talk much.
  • Creepy Good: Hanna, again.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Hanna's assassin training. It's the only thing Erik taught her, which proves to be a huge weakness.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death‎: Issacs and his henchman hang Mr. Grimm by the ankles and use him for target practise with a makeshift bow.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Hanna's training. She's probably the greatest assassin of all time, but it's the only thing she knows how to do.
  • 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.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Hanna goes through hell so she can finally be left alone. At the end, she tries to turn her back on Marissa and walk away because she's sick of the bloodshed, but Marissa makes it clear that she won't let this end until one of them is dead.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: The Moroccan facility.
  • Emotionless Girl: Hanna, or so it seems for a while.
  • Emotions vs. Stoicism: One theme of the movie.
  • 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. He purposefully withholds direct affection and emotion and anything else that could be a distraction from her training, which proves to be a weakness for her when she enters the world. In fact, part of the story is about her discovering feelings and human experiences after being deprived of them her whole life.
  • First Kiss: Hanna backs out of one with the Spanish boy, but she kisses Sophie later on.
  • Foil: Sophie's carefree enthusiasm to Hanna's ultra-serious and disciplined personality.
  • Fractured Fairy Tale: An inevitable interpretation of the movie, thanks to the numerous fairy-tale Shout Outs.
  • A Friend in Need: Hanna saves Sophie from one of Isaacs' men. Sophie returns the favor by not telling Marissa anything about her whereabouts.
  • Genki Girl: Sophie.
  • 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 an abandoned Grimm-themed amusement park (Spreepark) is featured heavily in the third act, watched over by a man named Knepfler Grimm.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Hanna.
  • Hates Being Touched: Implied with Hanna, although it owes more to her training than to outright sensitivity.
  • Heroic Neutral: 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.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Hanna realizes this after her time with Sophie and discovering the circumstances of her birth and upbringing.
  • I Miss Mom: Hanna keeps a photo of her dead mother by her bedside.
  • 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).
  • Important Haircut: Isaacs' bouncers, who are skinheads.
  • Impromptu Tracheotomy: "Can you lend me 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.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Hanna.
  • Internalized Categorism: After learning of her Super Soldier origins, Hanna brands herself as a freak. Erik assures her she is not and that he loves her no matter what.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: Isaacs' 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, "The Devil is in the Details", first heard in the club, then later with Isaacs 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.
  • Malicious Slander: During their interrogation, Marissa tells Sophie's family that Hanna's father murdered her mother.
  • 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 yells, "Don't you walk away from me, young lady!" at the end.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Sophie seems to play this role for Hanna, exposing her to fun experiences for the first time in her life and forcing her to bring out her emotions.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Hanna's abilities are deliberately ambiguous; she never does anything that would be clearly impossible for a girl her size, so how much of her deadliness is due to genetic engineering and how much is due to her Training from Hell is left unclear.
  • Messy Hair: Hanna lets her hair grow free.
  • Motor Mouth: Sophie can't stop talking.
  • Muggle Best Friend: Sophie.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Hanna is wiry to say the least, but has no trouble overpowering grown men.
  • Mutual Kill: By the film's end, subverted in that Hanna survives while Marissa was mortally wounded.
  • Mysterious Past: Marissa and Erik. Why they hate each other is up to interpretation, but what is known is that they worked together in the Super Soldier program that created Hanna, and were possibly romantically involved with each other, up until Marissa terminated the other children.
  • Na´ve Newcomer: The film is about Hanna discovering the world for the first time.
  • Neat Freak: Marissa.
  • Neck Snap: Hanna uses a rare from-the-front version to kill the false Marissa.
    • Erik delivers a pretty brutal one to Isaacs' hitman by slamming him down against one of the metal rungs on a playground structure.
  • Nerves of Steel: Hanna is never fazed, even when she's in danger.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: Marissa kills Erik before he gets to reconcile with Hanna.
  • No Social Skills: Hanna never learned them.
  • Not-So-Innocent Whistle: Isaacs has a particularly creepy one.
  • Odd Friendship: Hanna and Sophie.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Hanna's first kills. When the CIA surrounds Erik's cabin, we see three soldiers enter the cabin. Later, we see them on the floor, necks snapped, with Hanna perched innocently on the landing.
    • Eriks fights and kills a policeman when he arrives at Denmark. Moments after swimming for several hours straight across the North Sea.
  • Ominous Music Box Tune: The Sandman.
  • Omniglot: Hanna is incredibly adept at foreign languages.
  • The Oner: Uses a lot of long, wide shots. A particularly impressive one is the subway scene, going from a long walk to an expertly choreographed brawl with a handful of mooks.
    • The chase scene in the Container Maze is this up until we see Sophie.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Hanna's German accent varies in thickness.
    • Which is funny considering that when she actually does speak German, her pronunciation 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.
  • Orbital Shot: There's one in a scene where Hanna is running through some large, wide, circular tunnels.
    • Done a little bit in The Oner subway fight scene.
  • 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.
  • Papa Wolf: Erik.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Guess who.
  • Posthumous Character: Johanna Zadek, Hanna's mother.
  • Post Modernism: One interpretation.
  • Precocious Crush: Sophie's little brother Miles has one on Hanna.
  • Properly Paranoid: Marissa through and through, right down to her Body Double.
  • Purity Personified: Hanna.
  • Putting on the Reich: Isaac's goons dress like neo-nazi skinheads. But they're actually S.H.A.R.P. skinheads.
  • The Quiet One: Hanna in social situations.
  • 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.
  • Reluctant Warrior: By the end of the film, Hanna has no desire to fight anymore, realizing that she was selfishly forced into a lifestyle that she had no say in.
  • Revealing Coverup
  • Revenge Before Reason: Marissa. She even states explicitly that she wants to be the last person Erik sees.
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Sophie and Hanna.
  • Rule of Symbolism: In the context of a modern thriller, the film features some fairly unbelievable situations and locations, but they serve the film well, giving it its signature otherworldly feel.
  • 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 overwhelmed by the sensory input from 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. They're seen holding hands. 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, probably owing to his Precocious Crush on Hanna.
  • Skilled, but Naive: Hanna: an expert assassin who speaks every major language and possesses an encyclopedic knowledge on the world, who was taught nothing about social interaction.
  • Skirt over Slacks: Worn by Hanna during the flamenco date scene.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Uniquely for an action film, it leans towards idealism. Hanna even tells Marissa at the end that she doesn't want to hurt anybody anymore.
  • Smug Snake: Marissa shows just enough insecurity and vulnerability to be this.
  • 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*
  • Spy Speak: Hanna's postcard to Erik, which simply says "the witch is dead".
  • Stepford Smiler: Marissa.
  • The Stoic: Hanna.
  • Sugar and Ice Personality: Hanna is genuinely sweet and kindhearted, but is accustomed to being distant and keeping to herself.
  • 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...).
  • Survival Mantra: "Adapt or die. Think on my feet; even when I'm sleeping..."
  • Teen Genius: Hanna.
  • The Only One I Trust: Sophie tells Hanna that they can only be friends if they're honest with each other, forcing Hanna to put her trust in her and explain her mission.
  • 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. (However, Marissa did want Erik alive, so incapacitation was probably their objective.)
  • Trailers Always Spoil: If you watch the trailers closely, you can discern a lot.
  • Training from Hell: Hanna spent her childhood learning to be constantly on guard, even while sleeping, with her father springing attacks without warning.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: And how.
  • Turn the Other Cheek: Unlike Erik, Hanna has no ill will towards Marissa, and by the end only wants to live in peace.
  • 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.
  • Undignified Death: Marissa dies after falling down a slide with an arrow in her chest. It's Hanna who walks over to her, picks up her gun, and puts her out of her misery.
  • 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 them. The script outright shows that they survived - Hanna sends a postcard to Sophie at the end, so that's something, at least.
  • What Have I Become?: Hanna begins to ask herself this by the end.
  • Wicked Stepmother: Marissa, with her creepy maternal feelings towards Hanna.
  • X Meets Y:
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Hanna's mother, Johanna.

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alternative title(s): Hanna
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