Hanna is an exceptionally strong teenager who has been raised by her father – a former CIA agent – in the snowy wilderness of Finland. But her strength has nothing to do with girl-power Swede Pippi Longstocking’s “I’ll lift a horse off the ground with one hand.” It’s more of the “I’ll go out and kill a reindeer real quick” kind. Her hunting, running and killing skills make her the perfect assassin.
Because of her remote surroundings, Hanna has never seen or spoken to another person besides her father Erik. She has never watched TV or even listened to music. So when Erik sends her on a deadly mission to Europe, it’s the electric lamp in her hotel room that sets her off, rather than the killers who are closing in.
On her journey Hanna meets a British family and soon bonds with their daughter Sophie. Jessica Barden does a fabulous job as a glib and witty pain in the ass of a teenage girl – and Hanna owes most of its laughs to her acting. Berliners in particular will find it hard not to smile when Ronan, upon arriving at the Kotti station, is asked: “Haste vielleicht noch’n Fahrschein, den de nich mehr brauchst?” (“Got a spare ticket, mate?”). Or when Hollywood star Cate Blanchett wanders through toppled dinosaur models at Spreewald Park. But, on the whole, Hanna is surprisingly entertaining and not nearly as clichéd as the storyline might indicate.
HANNA | Directed by Joe Wright, with Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett (UK, USA, Germany 2011). Opens May 26