The Source for Parents

Movie Reviews
by Jonathan McKee

Hanna (9/6/2011)

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sexual material and language.

Directed by Joe Wright (The Soloist, Pride & Prejudice 2005…)

Starring Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett…

Jonathan's Rating: Theatre Worthy

No one can accuse this film of being unoriginal.

The film begins literally in the middle of nowhere, where father and daughter live together in an isolated cabin, hunting, reading, working out and practicing martial arts.

Within minutes, we discover that 16 year-old Hanna is training for something big. She’s smart, she’s fast, she’s tough… she’s Rambo in disguise as Little Orphan Annie.

Hanna engages on a mission to assassinate someone, a mission that results in her being tracked and hunted by a ruthless intelligence agent (Blanchett) and her operatives.

I haven’t seen a film of this genre so fresh and original since Luc Besson’s The Professional. Although, unlike Natalie Portman’s child character in that film, Hanna is fully competent to survive on her own.

This film has it all: action that keeps you on the edge of your seat, likeable characters, despicable villains, and creative camerawork that subtly makes the film more interesting than most.

Some audiences might not like the violence and killing. It’s the genre. If you can handle Bourne Identity, or TransporterHanna is up your alley.

The rating actually got it right this time. Not for kids 13 or under. I’d probably watch it with my high school kids and talk about it afterwards. The film had several violent fight scenes and a few murders. The movie is about a trained killer.

No sex or nudity, just some brief sexual references and what hinted might be a “bicurious moment” between two girls, but ended with what probably was a kiss (peck) between friends.


Conversation Starter
Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):

Q: What’s the message/theme of this movie?

A: This film deals with the subject of revenge and forgiveness. Hanna’s mission seems rooted in revenge for the death of her mother.

Q: How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this movie?
A: Movies like this are probably hard for us to relate to, like the fact that, most of us aren’t trained assassins. But a lot of us can probably relate to revenge, and feelings of hatred toward those who did harm to us.

God doesn’t want us to enslave ourselves in the torture chamber of bitterness.

Did you catch that? “Enslave ourselves.” That’s right. We are the ones that put the chains of bitterness on ourselves. The key to those chains are in forgiveness.

I’m not saying it’s easy, but it’s right. And it’s the ticket to our freedom from bitterness.

(unmerciful servant)

Q: How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this movie to actually living out those opinions?
A: When we are wronged, we can do the hardest thing imaginable…practice grace.

Jonathan McKee Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, and You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.

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