Friday, April 29, 2011

The Dukes See A Movie: Hanna


As was mentioned in the review for Your Highness there was a recent divide among The Dukes over the attendance to the aforementioned movie. While my standards and reasoning for not attending Your Highness with Zac and Coombsy are nowhere near as laudable as Zac made them out be (seriously, ask Zac why I didn’t see it and let me know what he says) they were still enough to push me to do something which I have never done before in my entire life: See a movie by myself.

My first thought was “Who am I going to make fun of this movie with?” because after seeing previews and reading the plot to this movie, I was completely prepared to lampoon it to the briny depths. The premise seemed absurd, and appeared to be no more than a rehashed coming of age story about a little girl growing up and so forth. The previews honestly did absolutely nothing for me. I was not planning on seeing this movie at all, but then this opportunity arose (it was playing at the same time as Your Highness) and I took it; and was once again shown that more often than not, I have no idea what in the hell I’m talking about.

The movie starts with Hanna, a teenage girl, in the middle of nowhere hunting a caribou or something. After killing the caribou she is busy doing the post killing stuff (gutting, skinning, preparing and so forth) when she is viciously attacked by a strange man. They spar for a while, with Hanna finally getting the best of him. The man turns out to be her father and the two of them live in the middle of the frozen tundra (it never really says where that I can recall) For all intents and purposes it appears that Hanna’s father is training her to be a survivalist/killer, which you actually find out is exactly what he is doing. Filling her brain with knowledge (he reads to her from the encyclopedia every night) and not much else (when she asks what music is, instead of explaining it by possibly singing, humming or whistling, he turns to the entry for music in the encyclopedia and reads it to her). Eventually Hanna tells her father that she is ready, the audience is still in the dark about what she is ready for, but her father pulls out a radio transmitter which, when turned on, will notify an agency of the US government (it never really calls it the CIA, but it’s kind of assumed) who will then apparently come to find them. Hanna activates the transmitter while her father leaves before the people come to find them. They have plans to meet up at a later point after different goals have apparently been accomplished. The movie kind of continues from there, Hanna is picked up by the agency, escapes her initial holding cell, and is chased around by said agency. It has a very Sci-fi/action-adventure feel to it, but mixed it with it is a coming of age story that actually works, add a dash of “twisted version of little red riding hood” and you’ve got yourself a pretty entertaining movie.

This movie had a bit of everything, good story, interesting plot, and some exceptionally well choreographed fight scenes. I honestly enjoyed watching Hanna transition into the real world, even though more often than not I’m not a huge fan of this “watch a girl learn and grow” films. It was interesting to see how the portrayed her first interactions with someone other than her father, and also how she reacted to the world, with her first experiences with music and so forth. It also helps when part of that transition is her flipping a kid who tried to kiss her for the first time on his back, then apologizing and thanking him for a nice evening. The reason that she is hiding from the CIA, err, sorry, “Unnamed Agency” is kind of obvious as it’s been used in multiple movies, but it’s still a fun ride. Kate Blanchet does an excellent job being a heartless woman, and Saoirse Ronan provided an excellent show as being a little psychotic girl with no real world experience.

One thing that I feel I should mention in regards to this movie is that I purchased the soundtrack. I never do that. I’m actually kind of anti-movie soundtracks. While I appreciate the importance of music in movies (I know exactly what it will sound like when a shark tries to eat me now, thanks to Jaws) I’ve never been the type to go buy the soundtrack. This movie, however, had one of the best sound tracks I’ve ever heard, done incredibly well by The Chemical Brothers. When there is about to be a fight or an exciting scene, you feel it through the music more than anything. The song “The Devil is in the details” gets in your head and will not leave, which is kind of creepy when you associate it with the movie and the guy who whistles it.

All in all Hanna was a pleasant surprise. Would I purchase it, probably not, but would I see it again, in a heartbeat.

4 out of 5 stars


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