Anna (2019)

Posted in Reviews by - November 10, 2019
Anna (2019)

Confused spy film from writer-director Luc Besson which owes a huge debt to Atomic Blonde, devised as a showcase for Russian model Sasha Luss who makes her starring-role debut following an appearance in Besson’s earlier Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. As secret agent Anna operating in Moscow after the fall of the Soviet Union, Luss gets to wear many guises, not to mention costumes and hairstyles. She starts as an orphaned drug addict sporting a look of bedraggled ‘heroin chic’ before being picked up by Luke Evans to join a Russian intelligence agency where she is trained as a lethal assassin. She’s a chess master, quotes Chekov, bonks all the time and can slaughter a restaurant full of heavies using gun fu; basically Luc Besson’s ideal female character. She gets a job working undercover as a model (how convenient) which is where she is first introduced to slick CIA officer Cillian Murphy, who winds up using her in the US government’s plans to infiltrate Evans’ KGB operation, spearheaded by Helen Mirren doing her best not to laugh while hamming up her Russian accent. Everyone around Anna falls hopelessly in love with her, despite the fact she is unequivocally dull. Luss certainly looks incredible and smoulders in every scene – heavily fetishised by Besson who has a penchant for this kind of exploitative, young, sexy killer thing (see La Femme Nikita, The Fifth Element, Lucy and so on) – and despite the heft of the film’s A-list support, it all falls rather flat. The film’s series of false narratives also becomes very tedious very quickly.

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Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.

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