Friday, September 23, 2011

Film Review: Hanna (2011)

An angry Saorise Ronan learns this isn't a Hannah Montana reboot.
"It's Grimm's Fairy Tales meets The Bourne Identity!"

I'm sure at some point in this film's development those words were spoken by a producer pitching a studio for money or a distribution deal. Or maybe the director said it to a producer. Or maybe a scriptwriter said it to the director. That pitch line represented the creative peak for this film; the writing, the casting, the filming, it was all downhill after that.

Look past the fanciful visual patina of cuckoo clock houses marooned in snowy forests, the coy references to witches, and you end up with the dollar-store version of a Bourne film. The title character is a 15 year-old girl who is seeking revenge against a CIA operative who killed her mother. The spook is played by Cate Blanchett, who uses an annoyingly twangy American accent and hams up her part without being entertaining. It seems Hanna was the product of some CIA gene therapy project to create superhumans, blah, blah, blah, plan cancelled, children and mothers killed, yadda, yadda, yadda, and Eric Bana, playing Hanna's surrogate father, saved Hanna and raised her to be a teen Jason Bourne.

The plot is quite irrelevant in a film like this. Hanna is all about set design and locations, so the story traipses around Europe from snow-covered forests to arid deserts to an abandoned amusement park. And it's all so hollow and tedious. The action sequences are third-rate, handicapped by the fact that Saorise Ronan, playing Hanna, doesn't move with any athleticism or fluidity. And the fairy tale elements peter out about ten minutes into the film and then make a contrived reappearance at the end. By the end of the film you're left wondering how someone convinced a studio that there was any entertainment value in this script. It doesn't satisfy action fans, and it's just not smart enough for the arthouse crowd.

No comments: