Saoirse Ronan plays Hanna, a blond, teenaged fighting machine that would give Jason Bourne a lot of trouble in a fight. The action starts right off the top and quickly pulls the viewer into her world.
Her father (Eric Bana) raised her deep in the wintry woods of Finland, training her to live off the land, speak several languages, memorize encyclopeadias, but mostly to fight and kill ruthlessly. However, she knows little of the outside world and her favourite stories are in a Grimm’s Fairy Tales book. Soon she’s off on the mission Bana (an ex-CIA agent) has trained her for, to kill the CIA boss (Cate Blanchett) that killed her mother.
We don’t know it at first, but Ronan is a genetically-engineered agent and a very scary and cold-blooded Blanchett wants her back under her control.
This is a very stylish action thriller. While the story is not very believable, Ronan is very credible as the ruthless assassin. She handles the action sequences enormously well, but also gives off a childlike innocence of someone just discovering the world. It was only four years ago when she was nominated for an Oscar in Atonement and she looks to have a great career ahead of her.
While the action is well done, the visual style of the film is sometimes irritating. The movie trails off by the end, going on slightly too long and unsatisfyingly, but for most of the time it’s a grabber.
Rating: four deer out of five
Next Week on Video
Probably the year’s best movie, The King’s Speech, with an Oscar winning performance from Colin Firth.
Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.