“What did your mother die of?”
Directed by: Joe Wright
Written by: Seth Lochhead/David Farr
I haven’t checked yet, but I have a feeling that Roger Ebert didn’t like this movie too much.
But before we get to that, let’s hit some previews.
THOR–I’m STILL not sure what to make of this. It looks really silly, but I still want to see it. Kenneth Branagh probably does a decent job directing his first real action movie…maybe. I dunno. Thor is just kind of a weird, esoteric superhero. Still trying to figure out how interested I am.
THE TREE OF LIFE–This one, though, I’m sure about. Terrence Malick can do no wrong, in my book. Bring along Brad Pitt and Sean Penn and I’m extremely there. Looks to be another beautiful film that plays like poetry.
SUPER 8–I’m pretty sure about this one, too. JJ Abrams’ new film about kids who accidentally film a military train derailing with…something…inside of it looks to be the ride of the summer. It also looks to be a serious action movie! Not just another popcorn flick! I’m there.
Ok. That’s enough of that. Let’s get to the killin’.
Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) has been living in the secluded north for years with her father, Erik (Eric Bana). Not only has he taught her basic survival skills (including killing giant deer), but he’s taught her how to kill people twice her size. When she decides that she’s ready to see the real world, things get…more interesting.
Why has Erik been hiding with Hanna all these years? Why has he been teaching her these horrible skills? And why is a government agent named Marissa (Cate Blanchett) so intent on killing both of them?
Director Joe Wright really has no business being able to direct action this well. His first three films are basically, if you’ll excuse the term, chick flicks. They are very good films (although, I haven’t seen The Soloist yet), but they are not action films, by any means. Sure, Atonement has a few vague and short war scenes, but nothing that would point to action success.
Hanna, though, is what happens when you get a dramatic director at the helm of what is pretty much an action story: you get a real story. Sure, we’ve seen it before, but never with so much style and grace. Hanna is a character that is filled with pathos and true emotion, even though…well, that would be a bit of a spoiler. No, she’s not a damn robot. Shut up.
It really does help that Saoirse Ronan is a great actress. She takes what could have ended up just being Hit Girl: The Sequel (although, I’m all for that!) and makes Hanna into a vulnerable killing machine. She truly is just a young girl who, even though she doesn’t always understand why, just wants to hang out with boys and be friends with other young girls. But she has to be on the run and she has to keep killing. It’s not fair and the movie knows this.
(Speaking of Kick Ass, there is an acting connection to that movie: Jason Flemyng.)
Watch out for some very interesting imagery, especially towards the end. (I really want to go to that abandoned theme park in Berlin!)
The only real problem that I had with the movie was, unfortunately, Cate Blanchett. She did a great job. The fault is not hers. The writers just decided that she had to be a completely unrealistic, single-minded bitch. She was more comic book than the rest of the movie, which already seemed to have a bit of a comic book feel to it. But I think that she fell into the trap that a lot of comic book villains fall into: they’re not just unlikeable, they’re unrealistic for who they are supposed to be. This woman is a government agent, not Idi Amin.
There are also a couple of parts that just seem completely unrealistic. Hanna could not grab onto the bottom of a quickly moving Humvee while she is in a manhole without breaking her arms, no matter how strong she is. She’s not from Krypton. She also would not pick up the internet as quickly as she did.
Other than that, it was a very good action film with more drama than most action flicks could pack into three sequels.