The first word I would use to describe Hanna would of course be basdass. Taking what Chloe Grace Moretz accomplished in Kick-Ass to a whole new level of insane, director Joe Wright pushes the little-girl assassin sub-genre into a way more mature and refined world, and everything is simply stunning. The fight choreography is tight and visceral, the editing is sharp and precise, and the music/sound editing collaborates perfectly with the story. Along with very affecting cinematography and enchanting acting throughout, Hanna is easily one of my favorite films of the year. To check out my review of the DVD hit the jump.
If Chloe Mortetz succeeded in portraying a cute little assassin in Kick-Ass, it was because of her physical appearance. However, Hanna’s title character succeeds at fusing violence and innocence in a very different way and, in my opinion, a more successful one. She appears innocent not only because of her looks, but her demeanor as well. Though she is on the run from dangerous foes, Hanna floats about the world in a curious and whimsical way. She is fascinated by electricity and contemporary technology and appears to be fundamentally childlike. Yet her naïveté is well contrasted by her ability to go on ruthless murder sprees. She frequently takes moments to appreciate the little things she missed out during her lifelong captivity, leading to some of the more captivating sequences of the film. (Check out Saoirse Ronana’s interview here)
When I first saw Hanna in theatres, I loved it for many reasons. Wright made the incredibly smart decision to hire the Chemical Brothers to write the score, as it is easily one of my favorite musical accompaniments in any film. During his commentary, director Joe Wright explains how a prominent goal during the score composition was for there to be an unrecognizable distinction between the audio effects and the music. It’s one of the best examples of such audio synergy in a movie I can think of, not to mention some of the main melodies they have created are great stand-alone songs. If this trend of electro-pop artists scoring in films continues with this level of brilliance, (see Tron Legacy) I will be greatly pleased. If you wanna check out Matt’s in depth review of the film, click here.
The DVD offers some fascinating bonus features, and while they are great extra snippets for fans, there are not very many of them. Joe Wright’s audio commentary is a highlight, where he reveals much of the difficulties involved in shooting the film as well as gives insight to the “movie magic” utilized in his a scene-by-scene walkthrough. Wright opens up with some of his insecurities of the movie or the flaws, such as the fact that while the movie is advancing, it is clear to see the progression in the quality of the fight scenes. I’ve never heard a director speak so honestly about his work, frequently pointing out areas where he believes he went wrong.
The DVD also discloses an alternate ending, and while I found it to be rather insignificant and will assuredly will not “wow” you, it definitely made me feel a bit warm and fuzzy in my innards. The deleted scenes were equally lacking in amazement, and while the additional feature of breaking down the escape scene where Hanna flees internment was quasi-fascinating, it wasn’t anything to write home about.
All in all, I’d say you should buy the DVD because the movie is just brilliant. As far as today’s DVD standards go, however, it falls a bit under par, even if it has a great director commentary.