Fairytale thriller sets out to seduce with some impressive AV credentials

Marketed as a straightforward action-thriller, Hanna is anything but your typical Hollywood flick. True, the storyline about a sixteen year-old girl (Saoirse Ronan) who, having spent her entire life being trained to survive and kill, goes on the run from a vindictive CIA chief (Cate Blanchett) sounds like standard blockbuster material. But director Joe (Pride & Prejudice, Atonement) Wright takes its in a completely unexpected direction, using it as the springboard for a modern fairytale that seems as much in debt to the grotesquery of David Lynch or The Brothers Grimm as it does to the traditions and conventions of action genre it continually toys with. It’s the kind of brave, inventive filmmaking that is sure to divide audiences right down the middle.

Picture: Why is it that Universal struggles to get the best out of its catalogue releases on Blu-ray, yet always manages to blow us away with its newest movies? This high definition outing for Hanna is a real stunner, presenting viewers with an exceptionally cinematic AVC 2.40:1 1080p image full of sumptuous colours, well-resolved textures and fine grain. The film’s varying visual style means that the imagery isn’t always razor sharp (Wright clearly enjoys playing with lighting and focus), but at its best – such as Hanna’s appearance from a hole into the Moroccan desert in Chapter 6 – the encode is satisfyingly rich, crisp and detailed.
Picture rating: 4/5

Audio: Hanna’s soundscape is every bit as varied as its locations and aesthetics, and this Blu-ray’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix certainly does an excellent job of recreating this in a home cinema environment. Directionality is controlled and utterly convincing, LFE is deep and powerful, dialogue is warm and natural, and the score by The Chemical Brothers will just knock your socks off with its acidic keyboards and thundering drumbeats. Terrific.
Audio rating: 5/5

Extras: This Blu-ray release goes back to basics with a fairly traditional, but still interesting, selection of bonus features. Wright provides an excellent solo commentary for a film that even he admits sometimes moves a little too fast for him to make every point he wants to, but still manages to cover most of the bases of the production process. There’s also a trio of deleted scenes, an alternate ending, five production featurettes, a promo video, D-Box Motion Code, My Scenes and a BD-Live link. The set also includes a DVD and Digital Copy of the film.
Extras rating: 3/5

We say: While the film itself will surely divide audiences, the Blu-ray's superb AV quality definitely won’t

Universal Pictures, All-region BD/R2 DVD, £25 approx, On sale now