We first meet Hanna blending into her snow capped surroundings, whilst hunting and killing a deer twice her size with a bow and arrow. Without catching a breath, she then disarms a ferocious unprovoked attack by a man also double her size, all rather rather odd when Hanna is just sixteen years old.

That her CIA operative attacker is her father gone rogue, hiding himself and his daughter in the wilderness, following an earlier event, is again somewhat unusual.

So starts this thriller by director Joe Wright, who has talented actors to help him tell this initially unusual story. Eric Bana is Erik, bringing up his daughter with revenge clearly focused on his mind. Tutored in multiple combat arts, languages and book acquired knowledge, Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) is like a finely tooled weapon, honed, poised and ready to be unleashed at a target of Erik’s choosing.

Hanna has the choice to turn on a homing beacon, thereby challenging the authorities, Marissa (Cate Blanchett) to locate her and allow the plan to unfold. Quite why the odd couple would choose to announce their intentions in such an obvious way seems strange, would not suprise be a more effective tactic for this close but most dysfunctional of families.

Actress Ronan Saoirse has obviously received training to emulate the moves and skills required to appear plausible. The audience can comfortably believe she is capable of anything, even after she is semi adopted by a free wheeling bohemian family holidaying through warm unidentified countries.

The movie plays fast and loose with locations, never seeming to end up where you would expect, leading to an almost surreal ending, loosely based around a Brothers Grimm fairy tale theme park.

The film does appear to falter in it’s direction and focus about the midpoint, Tom Hollander as “Isaacs” manages to add malevolent quirkiness to the mix but the whole plot and subsequent dealings, appears so far off the CIA books, it all becomes wildly implausible.

There is fun to be had, Blanchett is never boring on screen, Ronan continues to impress as she throws herself into a full on action role. Bana does appear rather uncomfortable with the accent his character is saddled with and his motivations are somewhat muddled through no fault of his own.

There are some good lines, “…and what did your mother die of”, the innocent question is asked, “Three bullets” is the quick reply.

This is not the usual shoot-em up, run and gun movie, there is depth to be discovered and this is enhanced by an offbeat lead female character. However the film does suffer as the director seemingly loses touch with the films intentions, the latter parts exhibiting a reflective mood which does seem to  contradict the early premise.


A fine thriller with some great performances, notably the lead but somewhat let down by a rather unrealistic plot and a loss of focus as the film progresses.

Cautiously recommended