When I was first took by surprise with the trailer I thought it might be an advert for aftershave or something masquerading as a movie trailer. I thought this because it kind of looked too good to be true to be a movie. It looked hyper, if that makes sense. And, like the Inception trailer, I quickly switched over and made a mental note to watch it. Unlike Inception (2010), I didn’t fall asleep during the time I got around to watching it. It started with a writer down on his luck before completing a book in 4 days, so I was pleasingly and surprisingly gripped from the word go. Then the movie evolved, and had me from feeling comfortable about myself in the beginning to not so comfortable at the end. It really took me on a journey, this one did, and left me in considerable deep thought after it had ended, which probably hasn’t happened since Donnie Darko (2001). The unmistakeable sign of a cracker is when you are rewinding it as you watch along.
With the one word title of someone’s Christian name, which is always a good sign, and the striking cover image below the names Eric Bana - Chopper (2000) and Cate Blanchett - Notes On A Scandal (2006), I had already seen enough after one glance at the dust jacket to know I was going to like this one. I was not disappointed after pressing play. There was too much choreographed fighting, which I detest unless it's used comically*, but like The Book Of Eli (2010), it was not enough to ruin the rest of a belting, truly cinematic movie. At one point, I may well have been watching an awesomely impresive adaptation of the last book I wrote (excluding short story collections), entitled The Violent Arsonist (girl grown and raised as an experiment in a special research facility). This phenomenon happens very rarely and it is a very rich natural-high experience when it does. The movie Slither (2006) was so identical at one point to my book Slithering Lake* (a man barricading himself into his bathroom during a mutation phase), that I am still half-convinced to this day that the content of one of my old hard drives fell into a movie director’s hands…
These, considering the types of movies I watch, are the absolute pick of the bunch at the moment. Best in a long time. I would have liked Hanna to be more like a book and continue to steer off on a tangent, instead of tapering to conventional Hollywood rules, but that’s asking for too much, and the reason why I hold independent films like Ink (2009) in such high regard. What horrified me as well is the fact that both Limitless and Hanna have their main male leads fighting off a gang of baddies in a subway station, Jason Statham style, which was either sheer coincidence or some producer somewhere financing multiple projects who has a very healthy appetite for underground subway station fights. Who knows? I don’t know how any industry works.
*See, they hardly even bothered changing the title.
*Imagine Phil Mitchell having matrix fights (cables and pulleys for his flying kicks etc) in EastEnders (also known as RearEnders or BellEnders).