Sunday, April 10, 2011

Joe Wright: Reviving the Thriller (Hanna)

The thriller is programmed to race our pulses, keep us on our toes and guessing, place us in their shoes. Like any film genre, there are works which define what the thriller is, even reach beyond that, and then there are bad eggs which go through the motions and stultify the intelligent audience.

Joe Wright has made a promising foray into filmmaking with a superlative Jane Austen adaptation(Pride and Prejudice), a mixed Ian McEwan adaptation(Atonement) and a bizarre male weepie biopic(The Soloist). With the audacious thriller Hanna, he has made what is arguably his best picture.

The film is feverishly cut to a pounding Chemical Brothers score, following a twisty plot of evil CIA agents, rogues and hitmen crossing continents, gender roles and familial units. Saorsie Ronan is fabulous, following incisive and deeply felt turns in Wright's overrated Atonement and Peter Jackson's masterpiece The Lovely Bones, she is ressurected here as a kick-ass action heroine, holding her own against powerhouses Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett.

The way that Wright fuels his ferociously singular thriller with anarchic energy and kinetic movement is passionate and exciting to experience.

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