Reviews: Hanna

More an insightful character piece than an action movie

A man lives in the middle of nowhere and trains his teenage daughter to be a skilled fighter, adept with hand-to-hand combat, weapons, guns, and the use of the environment. What comes to mind when you hear that? Kickass action sequences, of course, maybe very implausible ones featuring a hero who has skills beyond her age.

But how about the other side of the equation - what it's like to live in the middle of nowhere, have never interacted with other humans, not used modern technology (such as TVs and even ceiling fans), and knowing pretty much nothing other than how to fight and run?

Hanna isn't just some generic thriller about someone being pursued and evading/fighting off pursuers. It's also a human look into what a person raised for such a life situation might actually be like. When separated from her dad and thrown into the real world, Hanna demonstrates her prowess at sneaking around, avoiding detection, and fighting when necessary. But at the same time, she also becomes very scared, very quickly, at the terrifying prospect of having to talk to people and get help from others, and is very new even to the concept of having friends. When she meets a vacationing British family and hangs out with them, Hanna's fear of the strange new situation is palpable. Her awkward conversations, difficulty saying the socially appropriate thing, and obvious fear make it clear she's out of her element. Even Hanna's social training, such as dumping a false backstory on people she meets, comes off unnatural and awkward for her when she actually has to do it.

The music, the camera, everything is done very dramatically and it helps emphasize the movie's personal nature. It might be too exaggerated for some, but I really liked the mood it set when I was watching.

The Fish Out Of Water part comprises the majority of the story, but let's not forget, Hanna is a trained killer, and when we see her in action doing what comes natural to her, the movie doesn't disappoint there either. In fact, in addition to being awesome, these action sequences show the stark contrast between Hanna's confident ability to kick ass, and her difficulty surviving in social reality.

This is a very creative, original film, and I really like it.