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Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana, Tom Hollander, Olivia Williams, Jason Flemyng, Jessica Barden, Michelle Dockery

Director: Joe Wright

Director Wright made his name with Atonement, but it will take some atoning to make up lost ground after this rubbish. The first half-hour is pretty good, but the film goes nowhere and achieves nothing.

Hanna (Ronan) has been home-schooled in the middle of snowbound nowhere by her father, Erik (Bana), her tuition consisting mainly of training in hunting and shooting.

The authorities, led by Melissa (Blanchett, always OTT when trying to be villainous and here like something out of a Matt Helm film), are just awaiting Hanna's emergence for the chase to begin: would that it were more exciting when it does. But action scenes are few and far between in the midst of messy sequences involving Hanna travelling with a holidaying family (Williams, Flemyng, Barden) who teach her the value of friendship.

The plot, as such, hardly exists; boredom, despite Ronan's best efforts, sets in early. What does it all mean? Very little, it would seem, and poorly explained at that. The cinematography is outstanding, but one more word of warning: the best bits, such as they are, are all in the trailer.

David Quinlan

UK/USA/Germany/Morocco/Finland 2010. UK Distributor: Universal . Technicolor.
110 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 01 May 2011