Hanna. Thrillingly shot action and chase sequences, with a perfect accompanying score [of the year for me] from The Chemical Brothers!
Saoirse Ronan turns in another stellar performance, leading the cast in fine style, and putting the action heroes of recent times to shame. Fierce and frightened, coming to grips with the [and her] world at large, Ronan demands your attention, even when the script loses some of its focus and runs astray. Eric Bana proved solid, Olivia Williams you can never go wrong with, and Cate Blanchett’s villainous, caricaturey turn was most entertaining, along with her oddly dressed, whistling minions.
The film runs just under two hours, but Joe Weight seems to have wanted to explore way too much of Hanna in this time. The fish-out-of-water humour got awkward fast, and Hanna’s “friend” had way too much screen time. There was at least 10-15 minutes of inanity that could have been cut, and took away from the film as a whole.
The first ever film score by The Chemical Brothers, and boy did it add an unbelievable amount. You feel the bad-ass energy of the action, escapes and chases, while the next minute you’re in Hanna’s child-like, innocent twinkly theme song. I’m by no means a fan of theirs, and don’t know how this stands in comparison to their other works, but in terms of doing what a score should do for a film, it worked so, so well.
The last Joe Wright film I saw was Atonement, and, well, the wonderfully captured violence is quite the departure from a period drama. I felt the poetic, full-circle opening and closing credits a little too blatant, and he played heavily with the Grimm motif, bringing a kooky, fairytale-like surrealism to the film at times; I think it worked for the most part, and did especially love that scene with Blanchett appearing out of the darkness from the Big Bad Wolf’s mouth!
Is it too much to ask for a sequel? The “program” wasn’t limited to her, after all, and it could morph into a much tighter, darker affair.