A year ago, the thought of Joe Wright directing an action/thriller about a teenage girl bred to be a cold-blooded assassin made us chuckle. After all, we’ve seen the English’s directors previous films, which, though all well made and respectable, don’t hint that he’s the next John Woo. Check the resume: Pride & Prejudice, Atonement, The Soloist. The only things “tough” about those movies are the British accents and Jamie Foxx’s hairline.
Now that we’ve seen Wright’s violent and lightning-bolt-paced Hanna, however, we’re dining on humble pie. In the film (which opens this weekend), Saoirse Ronan whoops ass Jason Bourne style as a killing machine on the run after she discovers her preordained, homicidal life’s path. There's nothing soft or Jane Austen-like about it.
We do have one major qualm with Hanna, though: Ronan kills a lot of people but doesn’t perform a single assassination throughout the entire movie. That seems like a pretty hefty omission for a flick about someone who’s brought up to, you know, assassinate people, no? Perhaps we’re just being greedy; Wright’s action setpieces are so bonkers that we hoped to see him enter an unforgettable cinematic hit into the history books. Something that’d rival famous sequences from movies like The Godfather or the ending of Apocalypse Now.
Since Hanna left us without a strategically planned kill scene, we’ve softened the blow by compiling The 50 Most Memorable Movie Assassinations, a countdown that makes up for its grimness with filmmaking expertise and tons of Joe Pesci. And that’s a never bad thing.