Fairy tale is a term generally associated with princesses for whom endings are always happy. But anyone who's actually read one knows that they are often dark, disturbing, and meant to impart lessons to children in a terrifying way. Hanna (Saorsie Ronan, "Atonement") is a teenage girl with a love of such stories but also an understanding of what they're all about. However, she knows nothing of the world outside of the cabin she lives in with her father Erik (Eric Bana), deep within the woods of Finland.
Erik has brought his daughter up to learn not only to be strong but to kill. He insists that she will need to if she is to go out into the world she so desperately desires to explore. C.I.A. agent Marissa Wiegler (Cate Blanchett) is waiting for Hanna or Erik to pop back up and she will stop at nothing to find them.
The screenplay by David Farr and Seth Lochhead very slowly and cleverly reveals information to us about the characters, their pasts, and their motivations and I'd hate to ruin that for you here. I will say that Hanna is a unique and fascinating character. It's not easy to present a teenage girl who can kill without hesitation as an innocent but it's pulled off nicely here, thanks to the script and Ronan's performance. This depth is what makes "Hanna" so interesting. After all this movie is not meant to be believable. It's an all out action movie with a pulsing score (nice work from the Chemical Brothers) but no one is going to call "Hanna" a movie you "just turn your brain off for." There's real emotion and from moment to moment we know that something very big is at stake.
Directed by Joe Wright ("Pride and Prejudice," "Atonement"), "Hanna" is an entertaining movie with a terrific lead performance from Ronan and a sinister one from Blanchett. The road it takes is often surprising and it's well worth checking out. 7.5/10.