Hanna‘s plot is immediately recognizable: it fits easily like the worn in jeans of The Bourne Identity and every child coming-of-age under duress story. But, the sensory experience of Joe Wright’s latest film is wholly inventive and exciting: though critics have compared the chase scenes (ie nearly the whole movie) to Run Lola Run, the cinematography is a new brand of hallucinatory, combining the surrealism of Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and David Lynch with the over-awareness and paranoia of The Prisoner. Each scene feels more than tells, exacting every point of sensation and evolving the viewer’s awareness of each as the camera follows a character through the space. Unlike another recent film that leaned on a score from an electro heavyweight (cough Tron cough), Hanna‘s score – expertly crafted by The Chemical Brothers – pulses and interacts with the film instead of just accompanying action with throbbing bass and intense strings. When the score begins, it is unclear what sound is diegetic which, combined with the dizzying and eye-popping cinematography, disorients the viewer. But, that is the whole point: Hanna has never experienced the modern world as we know it, so Wright aligns the viewers perspective with hers for a wildly entertaining film about seeing the world for the first time.
Bottom Line: Hanna definitely begs for the theater experience as much of its impact comes from the sound design and immersive visuals. I would imagine seeing this film at home will highlight the pitfalls of the plot and characters, but I thoroughly enjoyed it until it’s far too brief conclusion. If you have a chance to catch it before it leaves theaters, I would recommend doing so!