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Excellent original entertainment. The film about a girl raised to be, let’s say, a proficient and efficient weapon of self-defense shows that there are many conventional elements of action thrillers that can be done differently. The slightly weird international setting, with plenty of local flavour from Finland, Morocco, Spain and Germany, without the tourist board appeal that featured e.g. in the last Tom Cruise vehicles. Excellent locations were scouted, stone deserts and snow forests and the bewitched gardens of the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales (I have no idea whether such a garden really exists in Berlin, I very much hope so!). Eric Bana plays the nicely understated father of Hanna, composing her home schooling basically from one big dictionary. He features in a very interestingly choreographed fistfight scene in an underground station, which I had to watch twice to understand why it looked so very differently from the millions of other fight scenes seen before. Hanna grows up to become charmingly naïve, which paired with her ruthlessness and lack of empathy for most opponents makes for a different kind of heroine. I learned in the closing credits that Cate Blanchett played the opposing side, I realize I have not seen her in ages. She is all elegant witch, with nice details such as her (bloody) obsession with tooth hygiene.

This is no arthouse film, there is no message or deeper meaning – it is just a highly successful effort of a filmmaker who obviously was as bored with all those chase scenes and gunslinging superagents as I am. Joe Wright has a good run, it seems, with “Pride and Prejudice” and “Atonement” both being very well received, and “Hanna” also being at least a critics’darling. One of the more exciting young directors. Well done – more!


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