20 March 2012

Kids With Guns

Tarantino claimed that the reason he made Kill Bill was to see how good a director he is as according to him, action is one of the hardest genres to do well. At least I think it was him that said that, it was either him or one of his characters; they all the sound the same to me.

Thanks to a lot of our movies, Americans have been led to think of England as being a country stuck in history and in love with our monarchy. Well, guess what Yanks? Our dildos aren't powered by steam and as far as most of us are concerned, the monarchy is just a scrounging, inbred, tourist attraction. I know that things like Sense and Sensibility might make you think we're all jolly nice people but take it from me, most of us are in fact hardcore pricks who hate strangers and love porn. 

In 2005, Joe Wright made Pride and Prejudice which, regardless of its quality, is a little bit of a clich├ęd Brit-movie thing to make. He then followed this with the equally la-di-da, toff-ish Atonement which continued the stiff-upper-lip bullshit. Although as a consolation, at least here he snuck in the word ‘cunt’ and depicted us all as the selfish lying bastards that we are.

I guess that after spending the first few films of his career trying to maintain the rumour that we Brits aren't all the apathetic, cynical cunts that I know I am Wright felt it was about time for a change. He therefore took Tarantino's action movie advice and got to work on the oddball, baby Bourne, fairytale that is Hanna.

Hanna starts off with Saoirse Ronan living in snowy isolation without any eyebrows and only her jolly green dad Eric Bana for company. Like most healthy father daughter relationships, the two of them read each other books, hunt for food and kick the living shit out of each other. As it turns out, Bana is on the run and protecting his daughter from the American secret service and in specific, the evil special agent Galadriel. Therefore the fights between father and daughter aren't just 'Mary Poppin's' worst unruly child nightmare but training for the young girl to be able to deal with the upcoming wrath of the blindingly ginger topped, bitch played by Cate Blanchett.

From its opening scenes, it’s kind of obvious that this film is a fairytale to the point that it may as well start with text saying: “Once upon a time, there was a young girl who could bare-handedly kill some cunts. Hanna as herself is basically a paedophiles nightmare; a good-looking, young girl who could-and-would snap your neck before you can say puppies, sweets or Russian sex-trade. Due to her living arrangements however, although she knows how to fight, she has never experienced either friendship or music.

Not knowing the beauty of classics such as Pulp or Bowie might sound like she's missed out, but really it's swings and roundabouts. It also means that she's never had her head infected with the talentless warbling's of that shitty 90's girl group consisting of Baby, Sporty, Scary, Posh and The Ginger Tranny Spice. Hanna gets all her knowledge from an Encyclopaedia, if the music she'd heard first was the Spice Girls, she'd assume its definition was meaningless sound emanating from the lips of five hideous, unintelligent, untalented, sub-human tarts. If I'm being honest, I'm not a fan of the Spice Girls.

Obviously with Hanna being an action movie, we need some shit to hit the fan. Hanna therefore alerts Blanchett's wicked witch to her presence so the two can spend the next hour and a half running around the country playing silly buggers with each other. Before I watched this film, I expected it to be an action film which hints at being a fairytale, but in all honesty it's the other way ‘round. There's one action scene with Bana in a subway which is brief but brilliant and reminiscent of Wright’s horse shooting, beach tracking shot from Atonement. The rest of the bitch-slapping however is simply un-memorably enjoyable. It's a bit like the 17th time you have sex in that it's enjoyable at the time, but by morning you've already forgotten about it and beyond craftily trying to sneak it up the bum, nobody tried anything new.

In fact it's the Brothers Grimm feel to this film that makes it stand out and linger in the mind. Hanna is an oddity in the same way Liza Minnelli is; in that when you say oddity you really mean fucking strange. The most memorable part of an action film like Die Hard is when Bruce shoots Snape out of a window and utters his motherfucking catchphrase. The most memorable part of Hanna is watching Cate Blanchett go arse-over-tit down a log flume having just shot at a child whilst standing in the jaws of a giant plastic wolf.

Like all good wicked witches however, Blanchett has her evil minions to do her bidding. In The Wizard of Oz she had a freaky species of flying monkey. In Hanna, the witch’s oddity of choice is the equally unlikable race of humans known as the Germans. In the same way that Dorothy has to avoid the clutches of the winged apes, Hanna too has to avoid the grasp of a gang of bleached blonde, camp neo-Nazis. Basically, whoever wrote this script had the genius idea of including the nihilists from The Big Lebowski.

At this point in cinema, the horror and action genres are being treated like Malaysian children- forced to slave away in brothels and sweatshops. Those two genres are being churned out as quickly and efficiently as possible with their only purpose being to swap any integrity or soul for cold, dead cash. Horror is particularely being massively exploited by the evil overlord and all round silver-screen twat Michael Bay who has seemingly made it his goal to remake and commercialise everything that scare fans hold dear to them. Action movies have, for the most part, survived the remake treatment but only to be instead massively dumbed down and driven to formula-obsessed mundane-ness. When John McClane's motherfucking catchphrase was stifled in Die Hard 4.0 I think a bit of civilisation died. The massively respected and potential action genre king that was Die Hard had now too been reduced to the level of an old pauper on his hands and knees begging for money. It was like seeing a loved one get chomped on by a zombie and then slowly transform into one of the blithering masses of morons.

This holocaust of creativity is therefore the reason why the world should watch Hanna. It's original, creative and tries something a little more imaginative than simply casting Vin Diesel instead of The Rock. There's a line repeated in this movie in which Ronan's jailbait-killer proclaims, “I just missed your heart”. Ironically this phrase can also apply to the film itself which was great but just not quite great enough on first viewing to become a favourite. Having said that, I can see this being like shagging a particularly warty whore, the more I revisit it, the more something will start to grow on me. Either way, check it out! 

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