Saturday, 7 May 2011

HANNA - Hit Girl? More like Sh*t Girl!

I had mixed feelings going into this action film by the director of Pride and Prejudice.  Following in the footsteps of Mathilda in Leon and Hit-Girl from Kick-Ass, would their be room for Hanna in the crowded marketplace of teenage girl assassins?

"Screw you Portman and Moretz, I'm the Daddy now!"
Hanna lives in the wilderness being trained by her father until she is ready for her purpose, but what is it?  Hunted by the CIA she goes on the run to try and discover details about her past.
It should play out like a teenage Bourne movie but unfortunately it is lacking in that sense of urgency that drove the trilogy.
Apparently the script for Hanna had twice appeared on the 'black list' which is an industry list of the best unproduced screenplays, but from the results I wonder how this could be the case.
One of the problems I had with the film was that everything felt rather underdeveloped, particularly the characters.  Whilst Hanna herself gets to go on a voyage of self-discovery and awakening (well played by Saiorse Ronan) certain interesting aspects are hinted at but then forgotten, and the supporting characters seem like mere one-dimensional sketches:  Bana is solid but seems to have walked staright off the set of Munich.  Cate Blanchett's CIA operative has a wicked nature, wicked Texan drawl and is obsessed with dental hygiene but we never get to understand her true intentions for Hanna, but the biggest disappointment is Tom Hollander's tracksuit wearing killer.  This could have been a scene-stealing performance but he doesn't get the opportunity to break out from an underwritten part.  Blanchett comes to him because he is apparently very good at his job but we never get to see how vicious he can truly be.
I don't know if this is the fault of the script or the director who might have ditched characterisation in favour of super cool cinematography.  Hanna must be up there with 127 Hours as the most over-directed film of the year, to the point of distraction!
Since this is a Joe Wright film, we get the obligatory "look at this really cool extended Steadicam tracking shot" as Eric Bana heads underground from a train station into a fight with four armed men.
However the biggest problem I had with the film concerned a scene where Hanna and Sophie, the young English girl who befriends her, are lying in a tent talking to each other face to face.  Yet for some reason their heads are at alternate sides of the frame which started me thinking about whether Wright has done this for some unknown stylistic reason or whether it was a massive cock up?!  Any time that an element like editing, cinematography, music, etc makes you come out of the story and start analysing the film is never a good thing.
But I'm being very negative, there must have been some good points right?  Right?  Yes there was actually, in the form of the score by The Chemical Brothers.  This rather slow paced film really bursts into life when their music kicks in and is the driving force behind the film's best action scenes (the highlight being Hanna's escape from the military base).
The Chemical Brothers have continued the now worrying trend set by Daft Punk of having cool bands provide the soundtrack for crap films.  I sincerely hope that Basement Jaxx don't make it a hat trick with Attack The Block.
Hit Girl set the bar high last year when she burst onto the scene asking "OK you C*nts, le't see what you can do now?".  In Hanna's case?  Not enough!

2 stars

1 comment: