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Gavin Grades The Movies



Tower Heist

Director Brett Ratner is not known for comedy; he’s known more for action films like Red Dragon or X-Men 3.  Granted, the man did the Rush Hour series, but I’m not really sure if you can legally consider those movies comedies since they’re so unfunny.  But Tower Heist is a comedy compiled of a varsity team of laugh makers.  Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Matthew Broderick, Casey Affleck (Oceans 11, Gone Baby Gone), Michael Pena (30 Minutes of Less, Crash), Judd Hirsch (Taxi, Independence Day) and Alan Alda (M*A*S*H, The Aviator) all star in this movie about the 1% stealing money from the 99%.  It’s funnier than Rush Hour but still not the great comedy it should be.

Tower Heist is a very timely plot.  The relevancy of a rich Bernie Madoff type stealing pensions and life savings from the people who work in his luxury Manhattan condo building he lives in is exactly the revenge story this country needs right now.  It’s fun to watch Alda get his vintage, Steve McQueen Ferari smashed by Still with a golf club.  It’s as if each strike is a victory for the Occupy Wall St. protestors.  In that respect, the film is a true success, but might have been better if it was handled as a thriller instead of a comedy.

Spicing up the comedic premises are some very talented actors.  Leading the charge is Murphy, who hasn’t actually appeared in a good movie since he was nominated for an Oscar in 2006’s Dreamgirls.  Him making bank off of the Shrek franchise, allowing him to go away for a while, is a very good thing.  He’s made a lot of very poor movie decisions and he saturated the market with Murphy.  Seeing him in Tower Heist though reminds us all of why he was one of the brightest shining stars in Hollywood once.  He crackles on the screen like Robin Williams did in his prime.  He pumps life into lines that otherwise would go insignificant, simply by being Eddie Murphy.  Of course he’s not breaking new ground or jockeying for accolades, but damnit, he’s really good.

Same can be said for the rest of the cast that do a fine job of supporting Murphy and allowing him to be the star.  Especially Stiller who has proven he can be the funny man but takes a backseat as the straight guy to Murphy’s wild card.  The only actor that gives Murphy a run for his money is Pena, who banks yet another winning comedic performance in his resume.  It’s almost getting to the point where I forget that he started and excelled at drama first.

I appreciate this film for what it is and what it attempted to do.  But sadly it falls short in quite a few ways.  The comedy stops around the beginning of the third act and the rest is allowed to be suspenseful action, albeit still fun.  The climax of the film though ventures into absurd when the entire success of their heist is dependent upon an absolutely impossible and stupid stunt.  I’m not sure if that was Ratner’s idea to show off how well he can use special FX or not, but it’s ineffective except in that it makes me laugh unintentionally.

Tower Heist is a fun movie that does no wrong.  Some of that is because heist films are always fun by default.  But allow Oceans 11 be an example of how it can be fun, funny and downright awesome by stylizing the look and tone and keeping us grounded in the plausible.  Go for the fun of it, stay for the Murphy but expect to get a little robbed of your expectations.
Tower Heist  (Rated PG-13)
Gavin Grade: B-

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In Time

How much time has to go by before we forget that Justin Timberlake was once a pop star?  Better question; how many movies does he have to star in for us to forget?  In Time marks his second attempt at being a leading man since his turn in the romantic comedy Friends with Benefits.  He impressed most people as the devilish Sean Parker in The Social Network, but is he good enough to shoulder the load of a entire film that dares to do more than just put asses in seats with a promise of pretty faces having sex, like his last film?  No, he is not. In Time is an ambitious sci-fi film from Andrew Niccol, who's written some very impressive movies like The Terminal, The Truman Show and Gattaca.  However, he's a far better writer than he is a director since attempts like Lord of War and S1mone fell quite flat. But In Time has a ridiculous premise where, in the future, time is our currency and we all stop aging at 23.  I give Niccol credit in that he tried to make more than another mindless sci-fi action flick.  It's really a statement about class warfare and socioeconomic policies.  Pretty timely considering the current political climate in this country.  But as current as it seems, it comes across as a script that was written years ago and was never updated.  For instance, it's not clear why we would ever go back to using pay phones and old muscle cars in the future.  But all the cleverness in the script gets lost in the stilted dialogue and piss-poor acting from Timberlake. Even gifted actors as Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins, 28 Days Later) and Amanda Seyfried (HBO's Big Love, Mama Mia!) couldn't make this middle school dialogue seem like entertainment, so I guess it's not all Timberlake's fault but boy is he not ready for primetime. Aside from a bad script and a poor choice in a leading man, the movie isn't very exciting.  It's a great concept to make a futuristic Robin Hood, but it gets so lost when a bigger problem is presented as a by-product of stealing time from one of the wealthiest men in the country.  Not to mention that it would bog the movie down if they stopped to explain why that bigger problem would exist without going into an economics lesson on a scale that would make us all doze off. So it's needlessly complicated, then confusing with its plot and to top it all off, the action isn't nearly plentiful enough to make us entertained by any of it.  By the time the movie has reached its exhaustingly excessive 109 minutes, you're just wishing it would end.  Ironic since the whole movie is about time and always trying to get more because I wish I could buy my time back from the creators of In Time since I feel a bit robbed of it. In Time  (Rated PG-13) Gavin Grade: D+
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Conan the Barbarian

Why do you think some studio executives were sitting around and said to each other, "Do you remember Conan the Barbarian?"  "The one from 1982 with Arnold Swarzenegger and James Earl Jones?" said the other.  "Yeah.  We should remake that," exclaimed the other.  I have no answer to that because the it wasn't good 29 years ago and it's not good now. The 2011 version doesn't star anyone of impressive stature like the original.  This time the titular character is played by Jason Momoa (Stargate: Atlantis, HBO's Game of Thrones) and he's joined by the go-to baddie Stephen Lang (Avatar, Gettysburg), the gorgeous Rose McGowan (Scream, Grindhouse) and fanboy favorite Ron Pearlman (Hellboy, Season of the Witch) in a small opening act role.  The new version is also more expensive, slicker, more violent and, of course, in 3D.  None of that helps make the film better than its campy predecessor. Both films are based on the comic book that not many are fans of and follows a similar plot.  Conan is a barbarian...naturally...who gets involved with a woman in his quest to revenge his father's death.  Although the film is written by four different people, it's the major reason why it didn't perform to quality.  Even director Marcus Nispel attempted to polish this turd up as best he could.  He's the guy that Hollywood seems to call on whenever they're in need of a bloody revamp of an old classic.  He's already had a noble attempt with a remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and a embarrassingly awful showing in his remake of Friday the 13th.  Although Nispel appeared to have been given gobs of money, elaborate sets, spectacular costumes and car-blanche on the violence, the script didn't allow for much of any kind of enjoyment. That's not to say that some of the action sequences aren't fine enough to chomp through on some popcorn.  In fact, in a summer that's been filled with subpar action films, this one ranks up there among the top half.  But a watered down script and a brainless, mumbling performance from its star is enough for you to be bored and impatient until someone gets massacred again. It's really too bad that Momoa is such a bad actor because everyone else gives a decent, campy performance that's right on par with what we've grown to expect from them.  McGowan adds another devious diva to her resume in what is a vastly underrated caliber of performer.  Not only is she beautiful, even when she has half her hairline shaved down, but seems to have so much fun in being bad.  Her interaction with Lang's father-killing villain is fun but only in their nonverbal chemistry.  Whenever they open their mouths to spew the terrible dialogue that was provided for them it's a letdown. Aside from some fun 3D effects (including the first 3D sex scene) and exciting, big-budget action, Conan the Barbarian is a disappointment even when you expect it to be disappointing.  Besides shelling out the $10 per ticket for the movie, it makes you feel even more foolish for leaving the theater missing the awful, incoherent acting of Swarzenegger...and that's a barbaric thought. Conan the Barbarian  (Rated R) Gavin Grade: C-
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Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Whether you want to admit it or not, the 1968 film Planet of the Apes is one of the top ten greatest science fiction movies of all time.  Sure there are lots of cheesy sequels and a par-at-best remake by Tim Burton, but there's something about that first movie that was so totally original.  It was exciting, had great make-up, a brilliant script, fun action and a moral message.  So it seems strange and very risky to create a prequel 43 years later that explains how it all started.  After seeing Rise of the Planet of the Apes, I couldn't be happier that they did! For anyone who doesn't know the original, it stars Charlton Heston as an astronaut that gets sucked through a wormhole in space and ends up on a planet overrun by talking apes that have replaced humans as the dominant species.  You find out at the end that the planet turns out to be Earth and he traveled hundreds of years in the future.  I know I should have said "Spoiler Alert" there but you'll need to know that to enjoy this movie and for Christ's sake it came out four decades ago! This film, which stars James Franco (127 Hours, Milk) and the incredible physical acting of Andy Serkis, who was Gollom in Lord of the Rings and Kong in King Kong, is absolutely brilliant!  Serkis plays Caesar, who is a chimp raised by Franco, and although he has (almost) no dialogue, he dazzles and stuns as he brings the chimpanzee to life in, not just a realistic way, but a totally deep, complex character filled with different emotions.  Simple facial expressions that he performs are touching one second and disturbingly menacing the next.  Ironically, the FX are so good (they were done by the same team that did Avatar) that it makes Oscar-nominated Franco seem like a cardboard cutout. Besides how well the movie explains the sequence of events that leads up to the original film flawlessly, it does something else that I found unexpected and shocking...it made a movie about apes very human.  The catalyst for the story is Franco trying to cure Alzheimer's Disease, which his father who's played by John Lithgow (Dexter, Shrek) is inflicted with.  The scenes that play out between them are done tastefully and tragically.  Same goes for the scenes when Caesar the Chimp is being abused and tortured by his captives, one of which is played by Tom Felton who was Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter series for the last ten years.  (Side note: His American accent makes him sound creepily like Steve Buscemi.) Besides Serkis, the real star of Rise of the Planet of the Apes is director Rupert Wyatt.  He came from complete obscurity and produced the best film of the summer, which makes me look forward to his next project with baited breath.  For me, his most impressive work is a scene when (spoiler alert) Caesar speaks for the first time.  Again, if you know the series, you know they HAVE TO put an ape's first word in the film.  So much hinges on that scene.  It could easily be too ridiculous and ruin the whole movie, but it isn't.  In fact, the scene is so furious, emotional and shot and edited just right that when it happens, it gives you goosebumps. Rise of the Planet of the Apes may have one of the worst movie titles of the summer, but don't let that fool you.  This is a smart, quality science-fiction film that deserves the respect the original was given four decades ago.  Maybe, dare I say, even a little more. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Rated PG-13) Gavin Grade: A+
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Cowboys and Aliens

Every audience of this film will be filled with people who love the idea of it...at first.  Then, I believe, people will leave telling others how much fun this movie is and word will spread.  Then others, who thought the premise of the film about cowboys battling aliens is completely stupid, will check it out and some...not all...but some will agree with how good it is. My wife attended this premier with me although she was positive it was going to be stupid.  I assured it couldn't be crap because it stars Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig  (the new James Bond, Defiance), was directed by John Favearu (Iron Man, Iron Man 2) and was produced by Steven Speilberg, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer.  That's a blue ribbon pedigree right there.  Then I noticed during the opening credits that it was written by nine different people and I felt even more assured.  That many hands on a movie is either going to create quality or disaster, but I had faith that some of those top shelf Hollywood royalty wouldn't attach their names to crap.  I was right. Cowboys and Aliens is one of the most fun and well done films of the summer.  It's executed with precision because wavering slightly off target would have ruined it.  Harrison Ford, who plays one of his best roles since Han Solo, yells out the line "This is ridiculous" during a scene of exposition and although we all agree with him, that's as far as the movie goes to acknowledge it.  It's like a master comedian telling you a joke with a straight face.  The movie doesn't even give you as much as a wink to the premise being silly.  Everyone in the movie commits to the roles and plays it off as seriously as they could.  I loved that about it.  If it was done slightly campy or silly it would have felt like a totally different film and it wouldn't have satisfied what I was looking for.  I wanted True Grit and Independence Day to become one movie, although I don't smoke weed so a thought like that never crossed my mind until it was presented to me. The "cowboy" part of the film is done with such great detail that it would stand up to most great westerns.  The "alien" part of the film (although they're never called "aliens" since it's 1873...they're called "demons") is also done with splendid detail that it offers the thrills comparable to most great sci-fi films.  That is a very hard circus trick to pull off and I say they did it. Not everyone will agree with me however.  Cowboys and Aliens is going to be very polarizing for a lot of people.  Upon leaving this movie, I can say with confidence that you'll either love it or hate it; there will be no one left in between.  But there will be some haters that get converted to believers by exciting action, great performances, and even some shockingly touching scenes...just like my wife did.  For the rest of them, it's safe to say that if you think a movie titled Cowboys and Aliens sounds stupid and not intriguing in the slightest, you're better off staying home because that's exactly what you get...but hot damn is it fun. Cowboys and Aliens (Rated PG-13) Gavin Grade: A
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Captain America: The First Avenger

There's an old debate over whether or not it's better to be first or last in an audition.  Some say you don't want to be first because the judges aren't even paying attention because they're just warming up.  Some say you don't want to go last because the judges will be exhausted by the end.  Unfortunately for Captain America, it came last in the Summer of Superheroes and maybe I'm just exhausted. Now don't get me wrong; I enjoyed it.  But I wonder if that's because I enjoy comic book movies.  Or perhaps its that I enjoy comic book movies that's the reason why I didn't love it.  Either way, Captain America came across as a painfully average film in almost all ways. For those who don't know, Captain America was one of the first superheroes released in 1941 and was a super soldier who was created to help our boys kick Hitler's ass in World War II.  In the last 70 years though, he's dropped off in popularity.  The only reason why this film was made was because Captain America is part of the super group The Avengers, which Marvel Studios has invested over a $1 billion in films to gear up that movie.  To catch you up to speed, those films have been The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Thor and now Captain America.  Luckily they've all been good films and have recouped that insane amount of money they've invested.  (The Avengers comes out next summer and will feature all four characters.)  Unfortunately for Captain America, his movie is the worst of the lot. Chris Evans (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Fantastic Four) was lucky enough to land the role of the Captain.  He's usually a great comedic, painfully attractive, charismatic performer but in this role he's as bland and dry as wall paper.  He bred zero personality into the character and makes him rather impossible to like and root for.  That, combined with an awful script that develops none of the characters with lines that drip with cheese, create a campy (which, I know, is expected with the nature of the character) and dull film.  It becomes what no superhero movie should ever be...boring. Director Joe Johnston, who's had his ups (Jumanji, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids) and downs (The Wolfman, Hildalgo) makes an action movie with very little action in it.  Not only are there really only two action sequences in the film, but he blows through what could be many more with a pointlessly bizarre action montage of Captain America kicking Nazi ass.  Huh? There are redeeming qualities though.  For starters, Tommy Lee Jones gives one of his best comedic performances since Men in Black playing a character that is a lot like his Oscar-winning role in The Fugitive.  I also really enjoyed the risk that Johnston and Marvel took by releasing a summer blockbuster superhero PERIOD film.  Almost the entire movie takes place in 1941...bold move.  There's even a musical number in it.  These are brave decisions that Johnston made and for that I appreciate it.  The 3D is actually done pretty well too.  There was even a moment where I jumped when the trademark American shield got thrown and ricocheted right at my face! The truth of the matter is that Captain America is weakest of a very strong pedigree.  Iron Man set the bar so high though that we've fallen short of it ever since.  That's the problem with all these films linking together; they all get compared to each other.  Let's just hope that The Avengers next summer lives up the hype and is way better than The First Avenger. Captain America: The First Avenger (Rated PG-13) Gavin Grade: B-
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Green Lantern

Every year I think it's the Summer of the Superhero!  A season where the cinemas are filled with a non-stop avalanche of superhero films.  This year seems to be even worse than last.  But they're cash cows, commanding the box office with the might the main characters possess.  The latest is Green Lantern, which stars Ryan Reynolds in his THIRD attempt at playing a superhero (first was in Blade III, second was in Wolverine).  Luckily, playing pilot Hal Jordan aka Green Lantern is more believable and enjoyable than any of his previous attempts. Reynolds is joined by the stunningly gorgeous Blake Lively (The Town, Gossip Girl), Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes), Tim Robbins (Shawshank Redemption) and Peter Sarsgaard (An Education, Jarhead).  Stealing the show, by far, is Sarsgaard who plays villain Hector Hammond.  He is downright disturbing as the tortured genius that becomes more and more deformed as the film goes on and his screams of suffering cut right into my nerves like a knife.  He is almost flawless as a villain for a superhero film.  He's just over-the-top enough to be enjoyable but skilled enough to be menacing. The director of Green Lantern is Martin Campbell who has a background in several James Bond films as well as the last Mel Gibson action film, Edge of Darkness.  You can imagine that Green Lantern is quite a departure for him considering that most of it is very, very heavy in science fiction.  This isn't the realistic superhero film like The Dark Knight or even the realistic fun superhero film like Iron Man.  A lot of the movie takes place in space and there are more aliens in it than all of 2010's alien movies combined.  That doesn't mean it's not good, but it does mean it's not for everyone. I wonder if that's why every critic seems to be taking great pride and joy in crapping all over it.  I'm not afraid to say that Green Lantern is a good film.  I enjoyed it just as much as I enjoyed Thor, maybe even slightly more.  It's bright, colorful and fun.  Sure it has a lousy script with cheesy dialogue that makes us wonder if it was scripted by the scribes of a made-for-TV movie, but overall it delivers. Another area that Green Lantern excels more than I thought it would is in the 3D FX.  A pleasant surprise considering the fact that if you pay over $10 for a single ticket, I want to see some fun 3D surprises.  Thor fell WAY flat in that department but Green Lantern is exciting and even gets you to sit back quickly in your seat from some of the FX. Don't get me wrong...Green Lantern isn't Oscar material or even spectacular filmmaking.  But is it fun?  Yup.  Will it excite you and make you laugh?  Yes.  Will you leave the theater feeling like you got your money's worth?  I did.  Maybe I enjoyed it so much because I had rock bottom expectations for it, but I feel bad there seems to be an unfounded vendetta among critics against Green Lantern. I can only hope that "by Green Lantern's light" it perseveres anyway. Green Lantern (Rated PG-13) Gavin Grade: B
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Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

I gotta admit, I don't even remember how the hell the third Pirates movie ended.  It was so bad I think I've blocked it from my memory.  Was there a giant crab and upside-down sailboats?  I think I remember now and if memory serves me right it ended with them wrapping up the freakin' series!  But yet, here we are again. This time we are back in the Caribbean with our favorite pirate, Captain Jack Sparrow, which earned Johnny Depp an Oscar nomination.  Besides the return of Captain Barrbosa played by Geoffrey Rush (The King's Speech, Shakespeare in Love), it's an entirely new cast of unfamiliar faces playing all new characters we've never seen or heard of before.  Found in these newbies are Penelope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Blow) as a former lover of Sparrow's and Ian McShane (HBO's Deadwood, Kung Fu Panda) as the infamous Blackbeard.  All together they are searching for The Fountain of Youth. The plot is actually a lot more complex than that and there lies one of the biggest problems this series has had.  The first Pirates of the Caribbean was the king of the summer it came out.  It surpassed every expectation that people had and launched an entire generation of women who had a new sex symbol to obsess over.  But with each film, it got worse and worse.  More characters were added.  The stories got more convoluted and strange.  This became the progression of the series leading to a more and more disappointing outcome.  Yet because the original one was so good, we still await the latest installment and hope it's back to the way it was.  Well, it isn't.  In fact, if anything, it keeps up the tradition of being just as disappointing as the last or even more so. The director of the first three films has departed and left it in the hands of Rob Marshall (Chicago, Nine), who does a fine job of not only keeping up the rich detail and gritty tone from the series but also adding in 3D to make some of the scenes more thrilling than they otherwise would be.  One such scene is the crew battling mermaids who are actually vicious man-eaters in this movie.  This was the climax of the movie for me since everything leading to it was a slow, lackluster build and everything after it was a confusing mess.  If the mermaid scene was a short film though, I would have enjoyed it. Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightly were smart to not be in this and I understand why Depp made Disney pay him GOBS of money to don the pirates rags one more time.  It's because the script is crap.  Characters are presented as important but aren't.  Motives for finding the Fountain of Youth are changed or forgotten.  The action is yawnable at best.  It's just not the Pirates we fell in love.  I hate to say it, but a pirates life is no longer for me. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Rated PG-13) Gavin Grade: C-
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Thor

You most likely have no idea who Kenneth Branagh is but you probably should if you like quality movies.  He's the director of Thor, the latest installment of the Marvel super franchise for The Avengers (due out next summer), which is about the God of Thunder who comes to Earth as a selfish Prince but leaves one of Earth's greatest heroes and protector. Now, if you know who Branagh is based on his prior work, you may think he's an odd choice to direct a superhero movie.  That's because, outside of being in Harry Potter and a few Woody Allen films, he's mostly known for being THE guy for bringing Shakespeare to Hollywood.  His greatest accomplishment is the 4 hour version of Hamlet that he starred in, directed and produced.  So is doing Thor a step down for him?  Not one bit.  The story of Thor is one right out of Shakespeare.  It involves a King, played by Anthony Hopkins, having a hard time convincing his wild son Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth (Star Trek) that he's not fit to be the new King until he learns humility, patience and respect.  Sounds almost like the prequel to Hamlet, doesn't it? In case you haven't been brought up to speed yet by the closest comic book nerd in your life, Thor is part of a larger storyline called The Avengers.  It started in 2008 with Edward Norton's The Incredible Hulk, then continued with Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man and will continue in a month with Captain America.  These films can be enjoyed on their own but they are also interconnected through mutual characters and hidden goodies throughout the film. I have to admit that I'm more excited about The Avengers story than I am about Thor and that staggered my enjoyment of Thor at first.  I was disappointed that there wasn't more about The Avengers in Thor but then I remembered that these character films MUST be able to stand alone as quality action movies, I was able to enjoy it much more. Thor is a bright and intriguing movie that successfully gets you to buy into the world of the Gods that Thor comes from and how he interacts with the humans on Earth, where he meets Natalie Portman's character.  It has above adequate character development and lots of very funny scenes.  Sadly though the action is few and rushed when you get it.  If you yawn from the lack of pulse in the climaxes of the film you will have missed them because they're so short.  I guess that was the trade-off with having Branagh direct it; you know you'll get a great looking, character driven film but you'll probably also get some pretty weak ass kicking.  Although this is a superhero movie, that didn't ruin it for me though.  It almost reminded me of the first Iron Man movie which had a similar problem with its action to character ratio.  But everyone loved Iron Man, as I'm sure everyone will love Thor.  I just wish the action would have brought the hammer down a little harder. Thor (Rated PG-13) Gavin Grade: B
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Hanna

Hold on.  Wait.  Gimme a second.  I'm still trying to catch my breath after seeing this action film from director Joe Wright, who brought us the Oscar-nominated Atonement and the studio f**k-up The Soloist, He has finally made his masterpiece! This is a rare type of film that hasn't been seen since the mid-90s when everyone was trying to copy the pulp flair of Quentin Tarantino.  Hanna is a film filled with weird characters, weirder locations, dazzling visuals, amazing fight scenes, a pulse pounding soundtrack and great acting.  I am a better person having seen this film.  That being said, it's not for everyone.  There will be haters out there who will think it's too weird or unnecessarily jumpy or perhaps even excessively violent, by only the hyper squeamish.  But don't let that detract you from seeing this. One of the most amazing accomplishments that Wright did was make a hardcore, grown-up aggressive action movie appear a lot more violent than it is.  It's rated only PG-13 and that's because he kept the swearing virtually out completely and used cut-aways to mask the gore, much like how Jaws is scarier by NOT seeing the shark. The cast contains Saoirse Ronan (Atonement, The Lovely Bones), Eric Bana (Munich, Funny People) and Cate Blanchett (Lord of the Rings, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button).  They're also joined by Tom Hollander (Pirates of the Caribbean, Pride & Prejudice) who plays an eerie and flamboyant henchmen to Blanchett's villain.  Characters like his are part of what make this movie so amazing.  Everything is slightly off.  Blanchett is an American CIA agent but is in cahoots with Hollander's track suit-wearing, whistling killer who's backed up by a duo of skinhead soccer hooligans.  I know this sounds odd but it totally works.  The locations and sets are just as different too.  You aren't sure where the hell the movie is even taking place for the first 25 minutes and three different locations. Wright is at the top of his game with not only the visuals but the execution of them.  There's a sequence that involves Bana walking through a crowded bus station and down into a subway platform that climaxes in an epic hand-to-hand brawl that is all done entirely in one take.  Most people won't notice or care about a seven-minute-long, one-shot scene but the scale of attempting to do something like that is incredibly impressive. The soundtrack is done by The Chemical Brothers and is probably one of the better ones to come out in a few years.  It's part of a growing trend of hiring industrial/electronica artists to score your movie (such as Daft Punk doing Tron: Legacy and Trent Reznor doing The Social Network) and I'm so glad it's catching steam.  Hanna's soundtrack is almost the perfect foot-stomper you want for an action film that is gritty and tense. This is a film that I will enjoy seeing in the theater again and will look forward to owning on blu-ray many months from now.  I will show it my friends in hopes that they take away from it as much enjoyment as I did.  It's a movie that covers all angles by making you laugh at the right places, drop your jaw at technical achievements and almost cheer out loud for characters you want to see championed. Hanna (Rated PG-13) Gavin Grade: A+
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