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Marshall Fine

Marshall Fine

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Movie Review: Hanna

Posted: 04/ 6/11 07:22 AM ET

Female empowerment -- in the form of kick-ass heroines -- seems to be all the rage, first with the exaggeratedly maligned Sucker Punch, and now with Joe Wright's Hanna.

Like the Chloe Moretz character in Kick-Ass, Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) is the product of her father's careful training. First seen slaying a caribou in the Arctic tundra with a bow-and-arrow (then finishing it with a pistol shot to the head), Hanna is a pale wraith of a teen (made more so by the decision to bleach Ronan's eyebrows), who has been reared in the wild by dear old dad, Erik (Eric Bana), far, far from the corrupting influence of civilization and pop culture (she has never heard music, or so she says).

She and her father live in a cabin near the Arctic Circle -- but their time there is about to come to an end. He's training her for a mission: to find her way to a certain address in Munich at a point to be determined.

Actually, it's determined by her: Dad shows her an electronic box - a transponder of some sort -- with a button on the top. When she decides to press that button, the mission will begin. And, because the story needs to start, she presses it - activating the transponder signal and bringing the nemesis into the game.

The enemy's name is Marissa (Cate Blanchett) and she's a Texas-accented CIA operative with a secret history with Erik. So she sets wheels in motion in the U.S. to have Hanna captured and -- well, who knows what she'll do to her when she gets her hands on her. Nothing good, probably.

In fact, Hanna is rather easily grabbed, spirited away to a secret facility in the Moroccan desert. That's when she puts her skills to use, escaping from Marissa and her minions and beginning her trek to Germany by infiltrating a family of British tourists. At the same time, Erik is also making his way there, to the rendezvous spot that he and Hanna have agreed on.

The trek itself is episodic, with ups and downs for Hanna, her father and Marissa. These encounters are mostly meant as a way for Hanna to have her first interactions with the real world -- with boys, with rock'n'roll, with human beings other than her father, particularly humans who don't want to kill her.

Hanna and her father, of course, fall into that curious genus of movie character known as the human weapon. Short of shooting them point blank, there's little or nothing you can hurl at them that they can't defend against and defeat.


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