Hanna ~ (USA, 2011) ~ In theaters

A young girl has lain in wait for the deer she sees amidst the falling snow. She pulls back on her bow and unleashes her arrow, which finds its mark. The deer bounds away and the girl takes off after it. Finally it stumbles and falls, in its death throes. But it’s still alive, as she says to the deer, “I just missed your heart”. She then pulls out a pistol and shoots the dear in the head. This scene is repeated at the end under different circumstances.

Sixteen year old Hanna has been raised in the remote woods of Finland by her father. He has trained her all her life to go out into the world. She speaks several languages, and is adept at shooting and hand to hand combat. Now she wants to see the world, and discover things. Her father says that when she believes she is ready, she can begin her mission, but warns that there’s no turning back. He sets down a homing beacon that when activated, will divulge their location to…to who?

Turns out the CIA. Hanna’s father is ex-CIA and went underground to raise his daughter. She presses the button and the real action begins. The backstory here is a little murky. It’s never entirely clear why Marissa (Cate Blanchett) is after Hanna’s father Erik (Eric Bana) – as well as her. But that’s not why we’re here anyway. It’s enough to know that bad guys are after Hanna (Saoirse Ronan). Ronan, by the way will be 17 on Tuesday, and already has quite a resume (Susie Salmon in The Lovely Bones, Briony in Atonement). And she’s quite good here.

Hanna is captured when the beacon leads the para-military group to her (it seems that this is part of Hanna and her father’s master plan). The escape from captivity in an underground top-secret military facility is a tense and beautifully choreographed sequence. She hooks up with a free-spirited family traveling around in a bus. Olivia Williams is the mother and Jessica Barden is her daughter who had first befriended Hanna. Barden gives an interesting performance.

This is a beautifully filmed movie with a complimentary soundtrack (The Chemical Brothers). Yes, there is a car chase scene. But the one that was really unique takes place in an abandoned amusement park. Great setting

Dont’ spend too much time trying to make a whole lot of sense of the ‘plot’. And don’t worry about tying up all the loose ends. Just enjoy the aural-visual experience. That was quite good enough for me.

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