Monday, June 29, 2009


GENRE: Action
SYNOPSIS: A 14 year old girl who also happens to be a trained killer must fight her way through a strange country to reunite with her father.
ABOUT: Mystery pile people. Sorry, I know very little about this one.
WRITER: Seth Lochead

Oh sweet Hanna. Why do you frustrate me so? Hanna is about your atypical 14 year old teenage girl with an AWOL Navy Seal/CIA father who’s moved to the backwoods of Sweden so he can raise and train her to become an assassin. Yes, Hanna is a cold-blooded killer – a “Little Nikita” who really is little.

Within the first five minutes, father and daughter are captured by 50 agents for reasons I’m still not entirely clear on. The implication is the father wanted to be caught, purposely burning a fire he knew would be seen by an array of satellites that are constantly on the lookout for him. Apparently this guy's wanted badly. For reference's sake, I only have a single satellite looking for me. Once captured, because he and his daughter are so dangerous, they’re sent to different holding bays in separate countries.

Of course neither stays captured for long. Using Jason Bourne like badassery, they escape and head off to different locations. Here is where the script gets muddy. Hanna finds a family in the middle of Turkey who she befriends. She reveals she’s trying to get to the German Consulate in Istanbul (this is where her father told her to go). In hot pursuit of Hanna is the organization that captured her, which is headed up by the steely Marissa, who becomes obsessed with finding her. There's clearly some sort of link between them but what is it?

Hanna makes it to Istanbul where, for some odd reason, Marissa decides to call off the dogs. Hanna’s given a train ticket by the consulate to the backwoods of Sweden, the very place her and her father were abducted. Yay! Hanna gets to go home!

Hanna trudges up to the cabin where her father is waiting for her. Yet it ain't all pancakes and nursery rhymes. He's pissed off! He reveals that the whole point of this exercise was for Hanna to be reunited with her damn momma! But that's okay, because remember those 50 agents that abducted the two of them earlier? Well they're baaaaack! Except this time, they only want Hanna. She's whisked off to a jail in Stockholm where the mysterious Marissa awaits. She escapes her confines by Jason Bourning a few soldiers to set up a finale with Marissa. After a few pleasantries Hanna finds out that Marissa...wait for it...IS HER MOTHER. Hanna cuts the family reunion short though and pulls out a glock, shooting her mom in the head, sending her a little closer to those satellites she seems to like so much.

We get a prologue where Hanna explains why she did what she did. “My father told me about her. He would tell me stories about her. I decided I didn’t like her.” Man, and to think when I don't like someone I just don't return their calls. Now whether this means that Hanna truly didn’t like her mother because of these “stories” or, in a scene that preceded the movie, her father planned this whole assassination from the get-go, possibly even bred Hanna for this very purpose, will remain unclear. But even if that was the case, I’d still be asking myself, uhhh, why? What’s the reason the father wants to kill Marissa so bad? Because she likes to look for him?

Probably my biggest problem with the story though is that it didn’t need to happen. If the father wanted Hanna to kill the mother, why didn’t he just send her or drop her off at the city where the mom was located? For someone as well-trained as he obviously was, I’m sure he’d have no problem finding and getting the daughter to the location. The "deliberately trying to get caught" thing creates too many questions and is a very flawed plan for someone who’s supposedly so brilliant. When these agents break into the house for instance, Hanna starts killing them. Even though they’ve been told not to kill, once people start dying, all bets are off. Who’s to say they don’t shoot her dead to save their own lives?

I don’t know. Part of me just thinks this type of stuff isn’t my thing and it’s better left to someone who lives and breathes the genre. So I’ll stop dogging it. The writing itself was exceptional and I’ll give it to Seth Lochead for creating an interesting character in Hanna and keeping the story moving at a brisk pace. But I’d tie up some potentially large plot holes before sending this one to the big screen.

[ ] trash
[x] barely readable
[ ] worth the read
[ ] impressive
[ ] genius

WHAT I LEARNED FROM HANNA: There is a scene in the middle of the script where Hanna is staying with a family in Turkey who has no idea who she is. A local warlord comes by asking for money from the father. The warlord physically embarrasses him in front of his family and it’s a wonderful moment because we see Hanna watching this and we just know that she’s going to tear him to pieces. And of course she does. Use your character’s secret strength in a scene where nobody else knows they have it besides the audience (for example – in Big – he uses his childlike curiosity to woo over the boss in the famous big piano scene). That scene always works.