“Hanna” (2011)

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★★★½☆

This was an interesting twist on a familiar Cold War plot. I won’t give it away, but when you get to the end it’s a bit of a let-down because we’ve seen this before. Actually, it’s not even the end where all the cards are on the table. It’s about 2/3 of the way through. Which is why I rated it kind of low.

Anyway. The story is about a teenage girl, raised by her rogue ex-CIA secret agent father in the wilds of Finland. She’s taught the Spartan lifestyle and is a blond-haired killing machine. The story evolves pretty well. The acting is decent enough, the locations are European and interesting – different from your typical US-made spy flick.

Cate Blanchett plays the CIA director out to kill Hanna and she’s plenty mean and ruthless. Saoirse Ronan plays Hanna and she does well in the action scenes. She’s kind of wooden otherwise. There were a couple of scenes where they tried to play up the “innocent girl first seeing the world” angle, but it really didn’t come off as genuine. She kind of plays the same character she played in “The Way Back” in terms of her persona.

The most interesting person in the flick is Tom Hollander who plays the assassin, “Isaacs.” He has plenty of affect and style, yet is still brutal and merciless when it comes to killing. That said, towards the end he and his partner are rather easily dispatched by Hanna’s father in a rather contrived scene leading to the finale.

The sound track, and some of the camera work, during the action and chase scenes feels uncoordinated. I don’t quite know what they were going for, but the net effect was to be glad when it stopped.

This is an OK film. You won’t feel cheated going to see this as the production values are high and it’s a decent enough story. But it didn’t live up to the hype.