(out of 5)
Imagine a James Bond adventure directed by Jean-Jacques Beineix and you sort of get the feel of this super-fun adventure thriller. Far in the frozen Arctic north, Eric Bana raises his daughter Saoirse Ronan to be a teen assassin, schooling her every day in the finer arts of combat while making sure to read to her from encyclopedias and teach her a whole plethora of languages. When she announces that she is ready to enter the real world, the two of them separate and head for Europe, where she is set on path towards finding the sadistic CIA operative (Cate Blanchett) with ties to her tragic past. Ronan’s journey takes her to Morocco, Spain and eventually Germany as this young woman not only has to fight for survival but must also deal with the emotional pain that occurs when she learns more about her origins. The film doesn’t have much of an aftereffect; its dazzling images and superbly edited action sequences don’t exactly nestle themselves into your movie-loving heart, but while you’re watching it you’ll have a rollicking good time. Ronan plays her otherworldly naivete without ever getting irritating about it, and Blanchett’s glamorous Rosa Klebb is a juicier movie villain than has been enjoyed in a good long while.
Focus Features, Holleran Company, Sechzehnte Babelsberg Film, Neunte Babelsberg Film, Studio Babelsberg
Directed by Joe Wright
Cinematography by Alwin H. Kuchler
Production Design by Sarah Greenwood
Costume Design by Lucie Bates
Film Editing by Paul Tothill