Directed by Joe Wright, Hanna is a European-American action movie, beautifully filmed, with an extremely strong Girl Underground-type protagonist (it’s rare that you see the Girl kill her enemies with such ferocity). Stunning locations, a really unnerving child actor, and music by the Chemical Brothers elevated this for me well beyond the normal action/thriller genre.

Hanna has lived almost all of her 16 years in a remote part of Scandinavia with her father (her mother is dead), being trained by him in everything from history and geography to hunting and killing. He is clearly preparing her for something, although we don’t know yet what it is. However, it is Hanna who makes the decision that she is ready, who signals the outside world as to their whereabouts, setting into motion a fight for her life.

She lets herself be captured by the adversary who she has been trained to kill, a CIA officer named Marissa. The adversary attempts to trick her, but Hanna escapes, killing when necessary to break free. Along with defeating Marissa (to protect her father, who Marissa intends to kill), her goal is to reunite with her father at a pre-arranged location.

On the run, Hanna makes a long journey through several countries, befriending a girl named Sophie along the way. Sophie and her family help Hanna travel, albeit sometimes unwittingly, but in the end one of them betrays her. Hanna is also helped briefly by her father’s friend, a clown living in an old abandoned amusement park. Though she is, overall, more alone than most Girls Underground, having been trained to fend for herself.

Close to being reunited with her father, Hanna learns some startling truths that reveal her true nature and expose the lie her father has told her. Now completely alone, she faces off with her adversary in the old amusement park (this is a real place in Germany called Spreepark, an amazing shooting location, I would love to visit it someday), and wins her freedom, though it is uncertain what kind of life she will have afterwards.

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