Saoirse Ronan was great as well as Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett. I know he was a creepy killer but I did like Tom Hollander’s character. The plot was okay but the film-work was actually pretty enjoyable. I know some folks complained of getting bored after a point but I think the blame for that lies in the script. The scenes were good. The actors were good. The movie was good.
Here’s the main problem. It’s a problem you’ll have in any movie dreamt up during film school and since I don’t make movies – can’t speak to as far as avoiding it. You’ve got a great premise, you can give a rough sketch of the opening scenes and a rough idea of where you want to take it. They live survival-style in the woods but why? They want to kill her and he wants to protect her but why? She’s been training her whole life but for what? But how do you keep the audience hooked after they know the suspenseful secret? After the opening scenes are explained and you reach the midway point, how do you keep up the pace? That’s when you start taking 2-3 different ideas for movies and smashing them together. Coming of age story? Yes. Spy thriller? Yes. Quasi-horror fantasy? Yes.
Is it a spy movie? Not really but at the same time yes. It has the big bad CIA chasing after some assets lost in the woods. It has the sins of the past returning upon the agency of the future. It has an evil, heartless stepmother of an operations agent tracking Goldilocks. It’s also pretty fucked up and disturbing in its imagery at times. I don’t like the lack of resolution between Erik and Hanna at the end. I really don’t like the 14 years of her life leading up to this moment. It’s basically the same concept of Big Daddy and Hit-Girl but without Marcus (Kick-Ass). We want to think it’s badass that she’s trained her whole life to be a super-agent until we realize that she’s only 16 and started when she was 2. It’s child abuse and it’s not right. It’s Rapunzel in the tower but with a well-meaning father figure while Mother Gothel lurks in the outside world. Hanna is alone and woefully unprepared for normal life. She lacks basic social skills and even a passing acquaintance with many simple modern things while possessing an incredible survival instinct and capacity to kill. It is literally like giving a loaded gun to a child and then abandoning them into the world. Her only redemption is that she’s a good person at heart.
I’d recommend watching it but not because I loved it.
p.s. The old abandoned old abandoned amusement park gave some of the best scenes of the movie. Some of the most messed up but some of the best, particularly the final confrontation between Hanna and Marissa.