With Hanna, director Joe Wright (Atonement) is trying to create something that is part art film, part international action film, and part fairy tale (Terence Malick meets Run Lola Run meets The Brothers Grimm, you might say). And, at least for its first hour or so, his strange hybrid casts an undeniable spell.
When we first meet 16-year-old Hanna (mesmerizing Saoirse Ronan) she is hunting a buck in the forest with a bow and arrow. She has wild, nearly-white hair and placid blue eyes, and she moves swiftly and stealthily after her prey. She shoots the buck, it staggers forward a few yards, and collapses, not yet dead.
“I missed your heart,” she says matter-of-factly. She then pulls out a gun and shoots the deer in the head.
Hanna is being raised in the forest by her father Erik (Eric Bana)—and he’s teaching her more than just survival skills. He’s training her to be an elite assassin and a world scholar. But he knows that their little idyll is temporary. Soon, she’ll want to leave the nest and explore the world on...