At first glance, 'Hanna' and 'Red Riding Hood' don't seem to have much in common other than a spring release date and young, blond stars. 'Hanna' is about a teen (Saoirse Ronan) raised in the forest by her father, a former CIA officer who drills her on fighting and hunting techniques and teaches her multiple languages, warning her to be ready for anything at any time, even when she's asleep. As it turns out, she's being groomed to become the ultimate assassin for a dangerous mission that will take her across Europe. 'Red Riding Hood' is a gothic period piece that takes that fairy-tale classic about the Big Bad Wolf and adds in a love triangle with Red (Amanda Seyfried) in the middle, as well as a dose of sexy paranoia thanks to a wolf-hunter/priest played by Gary Oldman.
Dig deeper, however, and both tap into a primal coming-of-age anxiety that is at the heart of so many fairy tales. 'Red' might be more obvious about its source, but there are many reasons why the trailer for 'Hanna' begins with that old saw, "Once upon a time ..." The unrestrained power of a teen girl can be terrifying, even if she's not trained to kill, and the search for one's true identity and whom to trust is at the heart of both 'Red' and 'Hanna.'