'Hanna': What Critics Are Saying

 

Hanna hits the big screen Friday, and here’s what critics are saying:

The Hollywood Reporter’s Todd McCarthy credits stars Saoirse Ronan and Cate Blanchett with making it work. Ronan, who was most recently seen in The Lovely Bones and Atonement, is “exceptional” as a teenage girl who's been trained as a world-class assassin. “Not since Run Lola Run has a young lady been required to do as much running as Hanna does here,” he says. “There's always a lot going on,” he notes, but “when you've got Ronan and Blanchett, you don't have to play every card you hold.”
 
Manohla Dargis of The New York Times also praises Ronan for holding “her ground against forceful screen presences like Ms. Blanchett and [Eric] Bana. Ms. Ronan is an otherworldly beauty with a gift for stillness and has alabaster skin that, depending on how it’s lighted, can look creamily alive or morbidly white. In “Hanna” she enters with a face nearly as blank as paper and devoid of obvious emotion, her eerie, translucent blue eyes here transformed into opaque pools.”
 
Ronan gives the film a "focused center," adds The Seattle Times' John Hartl.
 
But Los Angeles Times Film Critic Kenneth Turan says director Joe Wright ultimately squanders its charismatic star “by an unfortunate lack of subtlety and restraint.”
 
 “When you consider the Bourne trilogy, the class acts of contemporary thrillers, those films were smart enough never to be crude and heavy-handed with their characters, a trap the caricature-heavy Hanna does not even attempt to avoid,” he writes.
 
Sean P. Means of The Salt Lake Tribune agrees, adding that what is missing from the movie is "an emotional core. Wright moves the story so forcefully, jumping across North African and European locales as The Chemical Brothers’ score pounds and buzzes, that there’s little time for cheer. Hanna remains a cool movie, never a warm one."
 
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