Hyouten Watches: Hanna

Hanna Poster

You're welcome for the $20.

What a waste of 20 dollars. I want my money back.

I just got home from the theatres after watching this movie and I’m so disappointed that I’m not gonna let my thoughts spoil away before I write this.

Hanna is a 2011 action movie directed by Joe Wright, starring Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, and Cate Blanchett.

This movie has compelling previews. They will really draw you in. A teenage girl who looks cute but is very deadly? Who wouldn’t get suckered in? In the past month that I’ve been to the theatres, this movie kept on increasing my curiosity by repeatedly showing me the preview. Now that I got extra monies to spend (it’s my birthday today) and some time to burn, I decided to end my birthday night by watching a movie with my partner.

So the movie opens with no other than our heroine shooting a moose (I think it’s a moose) and chasing it down until it dies. Apparently she missed the heart so she had to shoot it dead. The only reason I’m mentioning this is because this will appear again at the end.

The beginning was promising. We see Hanna and her father Erik live their lives out in a snowy forest somewhere (I don’t think I caught it in the movie). She always practices her script to recite so she’s prepared when she goes out and always practices self-defense with her father even while sleeping.

During the first 20 minutes in the movie, nothing is explained to us as to who the characters are and why they do what they do. So I thought, okay, maybe they’re gonna give it to us piece by piece during the movie or give us a grand revelation at the end. Fine by me. Movies that do that usually give you enough hints for your instincts to kick in and start thinking about something. I’m sorry to burst your bubble but it doesn’t apply for Hanna.

We go through the whole movie with Hanna running all over the place and hitch-hiking with a random family she found somewhere. It’s just run, run, beat people up, kill people, run. No explanations save that little, lazy explanation at the end. Why is she being chased? Why does a CIA officer want her dead? Why did she have to part ways with her father when they could have just run away together and cover each other’s backs more efficiently?

So like I said, we’re given a lazy explanation as to who she is and why a CIA officer is after her. I guess the movie is trying to have a grand revelation at the end because they revealed the information during the last few minutes of the movie. But did it help? No, it did not. Everything I have seen before this revelation scene left me confused and this lazy revelation only opened up more questions instead of answering them. During the whole movie you are left with your own guesses and you are never given the opportunity to answer them with a strong backing. It’s like giving you an answer they just made up right on the spot and leaving it at that. You want to ask more question? Well tough tinkies, you won’t get any answers.

The soundtrack. Don’t even get me started on that. At first it was tolerable (notice how I said ‘tolerable’). Action-thriller movies exploit loud, banging sounds to get your heart pounding on key scenes. This movie does not miss a single opportunity for it to stab your ear with loudness. It’s always loud and always beating based on people’s movements. It got so annoying it hurts my head a little everytime it’s a running scene. It’s confusing and makes me wish there was a mute button.

Camera-work could use some improvement. Some shots are fine but some of them are just irritating. Too much shaking, too much movement, too much of this and too much of that. I understand that shaking the camera while a character is running or something similar adds to the effect, but when you shake and rotate and move the camera so much on just about every scene, it can make you sick. My partner almost got sick on some of the scene where they moved the camera so much. Heck, I shouldn’t have to worry about my astigmatism when I have a huge screen right in front of me! But no, the movie thought it was a good idea to lose my focus on the scene. It really doesn’t help when you film on a super dark or super bright location, or even when you keep flickering the lights. That’s a recipe for vomit.

The characters are underdeveloped at best. Aside from Hanna, Erik, and Marissa (the CIA agent going after her), everybody else gets ditched and forgotten. It’s like the movie never cared about them enough that we don’t get to know them better or we don’t get to hear them talk enough. It’s just introduce, kill or leave behind, and move on. The wardrobe is also ridiculous. A man wearing short shorts? Jumpsuits? It’s like they only had enough wardrobe budget for Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett.

The dialogue is also useless. It barely moves the story forward. The movie could be a silent movie and it won’t make much difference. The majority of the movie is just running, running, running. I guess I’m expecting too much from a story that doesn’t really explain anything properly. The only saving grace of this movie is the action scenes. In fact, this movie is nothing but just a collection of action scenes. It’s like they prioritized the action scenes before the story.

And the ending? Well, remember what I said about the opening? About how Hanna missed the moose’s heart and had to shoot it dead? They replayed this whole scenario again, this time with Hanna and Marissa. She says the same line from the opening, and the super lazy, right-on-your-face huge title card reappears the same way as the opening.

And can someone please explain to me how Hanna manage to propel that arrow to Marissa by just sliding it from under her sleeve?

My rating: 1 out of 5

TLDR: Hanna is a movie that will try to hook you in with the trailers and leave you hanging from there. I wouldn’t recommend it to anybody.


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