Sunday, April 10, 2011
The thing about Hanna is that it's a relentless, sparkling bit of entertainment. It speeds by, ending seemingly before it's even begun, never drawing out its affairs or keeping its ADD viewers in one place for too long. Here's the rare wall to wall action flick that never feels repetitive, is stocked with competent actors in odd little character roles, and which manages to give us not one, but two ladies who would be worthy foes for Kick-Ass's Hit Girl. So, yeah, some might say it's a guilty pleasure. I can see how it could fall into that categorization. Sure. But you know what? Fuck that noise. Hanna is more than a damn cool, bass-pulsing flick about folks with guns. It's a morally ambiguous Bourne for girls who are sick of watching movies with muscular action figure prototypes for leads and buxom, irrationally leather-clad chicks for heroines.
The real driving force, however, and probably my favorite screen villain since Javier Bardem wore a pageboy wig, is the positively vicious Cate Blanchett. As ruthless operative Marissa, Blanchett is bizarrely watchable. I loved to hate everything about her and their were actually points at which her eyes conveyed something so dead, so horribly robotic, she managed to drift far away from Elizabeth I to become convincingly terrifying. Blanchett plays Marissa with a definite strength, pushing her far from the crooked law(wo)man archetype and transforming her into an evil sort of force, someone who you actually believe can take you down in Prada heels and who will given the first opportunity. She will kill you and your family without a flinch, but maybe with a Southern belle smile. Eegads. Did I mention her little henchman is a Germanic Tom Hollander in an out of date track suit? He's a sort of Bond villain or Lebowski nihilist, a Eurotrash piece of shit for whom your repulsion knows no bounds. Hollander's sociopath scumbag will stand right next to Marissa and tear you apart with a giggle. It's kind of amazing.
The long and short of it is that Hanna is gifted with a cast, a director (Joe Wright), and a score (Chemical Brothers, anyone?) working together to pull it up out of the silly travel murder mire. It is, in many ways, electrifying; eliciting occasional laughs, cheers, and gasps from its audience in such an easy manner that it feels like, well, child's play.