HANNA Joe Wright's Hanna is a tech-savvy fairy tale, replete with a wicked witch, uncertain parentage and chopsocky mixed martial arts. Despite its 21st-century trappings and protofeminist protagonist, Hanna strangely reverts to reactionary politics as usual. When we first meet 16-year-old Hanna (Saoirse Ronan), she's a fierce huntress, disemboweling woodland beasts in between staged fisticuffs with her bearded and befurred father, Erik (Eric Bana). Stuck in a log cabin in the middle of nowhere, she knows nothing of the larger world except for whatever paranoid Papa has taught her. Since even home-schooled ninjas have to grow up, Dad concedes to unearthing a long-hidden device that alerts civilization — including avenging CIA operative Marissa Wiegler (Cate Blanchett) — to their whereabouts. After a dead-of-night abduction, Hanna mercilessly escapes from captivity, snapping necks and bludgeoning faces on her grim journey of self-discovery and self-preserving homicide. Best known for well-behaved dramas, Wright (Atonement) emerges as a surprisingly nimble action director, who refreshingly favors spatial continuity and a crisp, Kubrickian frame. But there's a dubious conservatism undergirding his tale. Though Blanchett is a riot as a Nordstrom-attired, Southern-drawling Brunhilde, what ultimately makes her so deviant — and so worthy of punishment — is her childlessness. Hanna has more going for it than most Hollywood genre films, but its aesthetic achievements amount to only superficial pleasures. (Eric Hynes) (Citywide)
Get the Film Club Newsletter
Stay up to date on the best new movies with our critics' latest reviews, interviews and trailers for the films coming to a theater near you each week.
More Film News
- I Never Liked the National Lampoon's Vacation Series, and This New Version Is...
- Five Reasons to Enter the Silly, Sad World of Netflix's BoJack Horseman
- You Will Learn Exactly Three New Things From the Chris Farley Documentary
- The End of the Tour Doesn't Quite Depict a Convincing David Foster Wallace