The Videogum Movie Club: Hanna

Well, so, that happened. (Excuse me: that hannappened. LOL!) That is the thing about getting your hopes up: don’t! It’s like that old Holden Caufield quotation: “Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.” Except, instead of telling people anything, it’s get your hopes up for movies, and instead of you start missing everybody, it’s you are always mildly disappointed. Hanna had its moments to be sure, but it did not live up to the hype that I had created on my own in my brain for whatever reason. It looked kind of amazing, right? Was it just me? I don’t think it was just me. I know, for example, that it was also some of the people that I went to see it with this weekend. A child assassin! Snow! Eric Bana’s magical face! Some kind of mystery! Did I mention child assassin? Hanna promised us the world. What it delivered was a half-hearted, surprisingly dull action movie with way too much running and a garbage twist. Harumph.

Hanna starts in the forest where Hanna hunts caribou with her father and practices Krav Maga and then relaxes with a dog-eared copy of the Encyclopedia. Fun! Her dad is always telling her funny little things that dads tell their daughters, like, “You’re dead, I killed you,” and playing practical jokes like pointing a gun at her head while she is sleeping. Oh, dad! GET OUT OF MY CABIN! But Hanna is getting restless because she wants to hear music. So, Eric Bana orders her an iPod shuffle and they live happily ever after pulls out his secret CIA homing device and gives it to her but warns her that once they turn on the switch, she is going to have to kill Marissa Viegler or else Marissa Viegler will kill her. Oh no, why? Why is Marissa Viegler so mean to Hanna?! That will be the mystery this movie unravels. (There are other mysteries, incidentally, that the movie will NOT unravel. More on those later.)

Eric Bana shaves off his beard, strips down to his long underwear, puts his suit in a garbage bag, and jumps into the ocean. Meanwhile, Hanna is shipped to an underground base where she murders a lady pretending to be Marissa Viegler in a cheap Ricky’s wig. And thus begins the running. Like, most of the rest of the movie is just running? Cool. It is 2011, and there is nothing more exciting than someone just running so much. (Sarcasm.) Run run run. Sneak sneak sneak. Oh, also, the whole thing is supposed to be a fairy tale, which we know because they keep saying it. There are shots of a fairy tale book, and the meeting spot is Grimm’s House. At one point Hanna mentions this to her tiny friend (the best part of the movie, this little friend) and she goes “Oh, like Grimm from the fairy tales?” Yes. We all got it now!

The twist, of course, is that Hanna is actually a human clone who was designed to be a super-soldier. WAIT A SECOND. That’s actually the twist? Yes. Boo. I would actually rather there be no explanation for what is going on than THAT explanation. What a boring explanation! Like, the MOST boring. There are some fights, as there are, showdowns and stuff, and then it is finally down to Marissa Viegler and Hanna. Marissa Viegler kills Hanna and the movie ends. So close, Hanna. Better luck next time! SURPRISE! I AM KIDDING! At the very least, one thing is true: the movie does end.

The girl who plays Hanna, Saorise Ronan, is pretty good. Certainly much better than she was in The Lovely Bones, which may or may not actually be her fault but all the same. Eric Bana is also pretty good, although I do have a question about his character: how is it that you are able to destroy 8 trained operatives surrounding you in a circle with their guns half-drawn, but you have a hard time beating up one stupid skinhead? And I have a follow up question: if you manage to get enough of a lead on the stupid skinhead to hide behind a rusted out van and get the drop on him, how are you going to just kind of lazily tackle him and then get kicked in the ribs? REMEMBER YOUR TRAINING, ERIC BANA! I will tell you who was not good, though: Cate Blanchett. Huh?! She is a good actress. What happened here? That accent. “Cate, on this next take, could you try to sound like Foghorn Leghorn with the dedication and enthusiasm to crafting an authentic regional accent that Danny McBride and James Franco exhibit in Your Highness?” “Yes, I can. And I will.”

Some of the movie was mildly exciting, I guess, but not really. Like I said, it was mostly running. And when there were things that could have been pretty good, they kind of just let it go, kind of like how they let go worrying too much about coming up with a plot reveal that didn’t make you want to garotte yourself to death. Like, the sadistic gay German dude with the bleached hair was a pretty fun character, but you never actually saw him do anything other than whistle, and then, in response to what was at least suggested to be a relatively cruel, violent, and scary monster of a man, he was just sort of unceremoniously dispatched by Eric Bana on a swingset. Who’s afraid of the big bad SNORE!

It wasn’t that Hanna was bad, it just wasn’t much of anything at all. What a summer bummer. Oh well. These things happen. Excuse me: these things hannappen. (Every time.)

Movie Club Reading Questions: Do you guys agree or disagree with every single word I said?