A figurative little red riding hood searches for self, family and truth while pursued by big bad wolves in Hanna. Joe Wright’s film shares with the recent Sucker Punch a fascination with young ass-kicking girls on the hunt for empowerment and actualization, but whereas Zack Snyder’s pop-culture upchuck fetishisized via videogame and blockbuster cinema clichés, this saga blends fairy tales with grim Cold War-esque espionage. Raised in a remote Arctic cabin by her spook father Eric (Eric Bana) to be a super-survivalist, Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) flips a tracking-device switch and is soon captured by American military men, who take her to a compound where she attempts – but, due to a doppelganger switcheroo, fails – to kill icy agent Marissa (Cate Blanchett). Scored to a thrumming Chemical Brothers score, Wright’s direction has a stylishness that initially generates a mood of unreal fantasticality, his camera racing, spinning (as if falling down rabbit holes), and whip-panning through unnerving architecture and crowded urban streets, climaxing with a subway fight between Eric and four adversaries that boasts brawny single-take lucidity. Hanna’s flight from capture is a tale of self-discovery and parental responsibility and treachery, and eventually brings her into contact with a temporary surrogate family who provide a glimpse of domestic normalcy. Yet from a trio of henchmen whose leader (Tom Hollander) whistles while he works, to a visit to the gingerbread home of the Brothers Grimm, folklore undercurrents that prove initially spry and intriguing are soon rendered so leadenly obvious – eventually, there’s a confrontation with Blanchett’s evil queen in a literal Big Bad Wolf’s mouth, which takes place shortly after Hollander’s baddie screams “Here piggy, piggy!” – that they destroy any traces of nimbleness from the proceedings’ breakneck plotting.