Movie review: Hanna

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

There's definitely a place for mindless action flicks, but action doesn't have to automatically equal stupid.

Enter "Hanna," the pulse-pounding chase flick that proves you can get an adrenaline fix without sacrificing brain cells.

The Hanna in question (Saoirse Ronan) is a 16-year-old girl, who happens to be a ruthless assassin.

Her father Erik (Eric Bana) has trained her in the frozen wilderness of Finland. It's the ultimate in home-schooling - hand-to-hand combat, how to field-dress a deer and speak multiple languages.

Erik is training Hanna for a mission involving a ruthless and stern CIA operative (Cate Blanchett) who shares a history with the family.

Punchy and well-acted, if "Hanna" seems like an unusual actioner, it might be because it's from the director of - I'm not making this up - "Pride & Prejudice."

A period piece it is not, but it does feel slickly European, reminiscent of "Run Lola Run" or the "Bourne" flicks.

It's got a comic-book concept, but it's stuffed with smart dialogue delivered by top-notch actors. Ronan ("The Lovely Bones") is believable both as sad little girl and an efficient killer. Bana gives the stern father a heartbreaking quality. And Blanchett has a blast as an over-the-top villainess.

It's smart but also compulsively fun, all set to a thumping soundtrack by The Chemical Brothers.


Opens Friday

3.5 stars out of 4