Hanna, played with complexity by Saoirse Ronan (Atonement), is no cape-wearing wannabe super-hero raised by her father to fight crime; she is more Jason Bourne than the X-Men's Rogue or Batman's Robin, and she has been raised and trained in total isolation. The first time we see her, she is hunting reindeer in a snowy wood. It is soon made clear that she is doing so not for sport but to feed herself and her father.
She lives with her father (Eric Bana) in a snow-capped cabin straight out of a fairytale, and this is no accident. Hanna, the movie, is a techno-fairytale, complete with a woodsman-like father, a princess with a secret mission, a lupine antagonist, a trio of trolls and, of course, a happy, friendly gnome. Modernism is provided not only by the plot but by a thumping, grinding and gleefully effective soundtrack by the Chemical Brothers; hyped up, Run Lola Run-style visuals; and Bourne-worthy action set pieces filmed with the art-house sensibilities of a director who knows how to balance style and substance, and knows when the former should be allowed to eclipse the latter.
To achieve innovation, to get something different from an action movie, the most effective thing a studio can do is hire a director who does not usually direct action movies. This is not to say that any director can or should be making action films. But directors like Christopher Nolan, Duncan Jones, Sam Raimi, and now Joe Wright, have shown that sometimes it isn't enough for studios and producers to think outside the box, that they might have to invite someone from the outside in and tell him to go ahead and rework the box entirely.
Hanna is an action film, but it refuses to be categorized as such, insisting that it feels just as comfortable slotted in with the art house crowd, the fish-out-of-water drama and, yes, the fairytale. Hanna is a deceptively inventive, enjoyably surprising, and ultimately entertaining film. I look forward to watching it again.