Anna is a visually stylish tale of a beautiful and lethal woman caught in a bind from a master of French action cinema Luc Besson. If you have seen La Femme Nikita, Lucy or Colombiana, you know how good Besson is when it comes to mixing action scenes with a dramatic story.
If you have seen the movie trailer you maybe expect to see another action film where dangerous lady-killer wins every fight and guns down everyone staying in her way. But you will be surprised how the trailer doesn’t reflect all script twists and intense action of the movie.
Sasha Luss plays Anna, a beautiful young Russian girl, selling nesting dolls in a Moscow market when she is spotted by a scout for a French modeling agency and sent off to Paris to work.
This is where you can think that soon she will be sent to some rural place in Eastern Europe instead of Paris where after years of struggles will release her strong desire to get revenge on kidnappers, but not.
Others can try to predict that Anna will be recruited by The Frech General Directorate for External Security (equivalent to CIA) and still will be wrong.
The real story is absolutely different because, actually, a few years earlier Anna was living on the fringes of Russian society in Moscow with an abusive boyfriend desperately looking for a way out.
One day the man in black Alex offered her a chance to join one organization (you will find out which one yourself) promising she will be free to go after five years of service. This is where the real story starts.
As for the cast, it is outstanding, we have Luke Evans playing second-in-command, Cillian Murphy playing a CIA agent, Andrew Howard playing Russian businessman, Alexander Petrov playing Anna’s boyfriend, and Hellen Mirren playing the boss behind all assassinations.
Besides Sasha, who appears in virtually every scene, only Helen Mirren has everything to shine here. There is not so much time given to Luke Evans who is able to deliver a hell of action, he just playing an agent in love with Anna. Another loss of this movie is Cillian Murphy, his acting skills are totally wasted on small scenes to just support the storyline.
These are the ultimate sinks of the movie but I can understand why it has been done this way. If Besson could give these two actors a chance to shine the audience focus could easily be changed from the lead to them and it could turn in big screenplay holes.
Also, Anna engages in a pointless romantic relationship with a fellow female model and this part doesn’t make sense at all and doesn’t bring anything to the movie. I suppose it’s just a trendy thing that should be included in a movie.
Sasha Luss is not the most versatile performer, but she is gorgeous and brings a lot to the table demonstrating decent screen charisma. Without a doubt, it’s always a pleasure to watch a beautiful woman on a screen especially when she kills with a style wearing tight clothes.
The scene in the restaurant where Anna should kill her first target in five minutes is an incredibly choreographed bit of mayhem. Fists, legs, guns, thugs, suits, plates, broken glasses, everything goes to complete the task.
Action sequences remind John Wick films but the truth is that exactly Luc Besson and his team founded this action style filming Transporter movies with Jason Statham or Kiss of The Dragon with Jet Li in the 2000s. 87eleven guys just took it and with small twists implemented into Wicks’ art of killing in 2014.
Daren Dop has done a great job with fighting choreography with the help of Slavisa Ivanovic and Jerome Gaspard as stunt coordinators. They all know perfectly what Besson needs as worked with them on many movies before. As a result, the stunt team created very impressive action sequences.
What I like that film doesn’t promote a women empowerment in a hard way as many other movies do today, it does it with a French style.
I’m very disappointed to see the rating of 40 on Metacritic and 28 on Rotten Tomatoes. But I’m not surprised when movies such as Spider-Man: Far from Home has 95 and Shazam! – 91. People want superheroes and boom-bada-boom shows with affiliative humor. It’s a time where we live now.
Luc Besson has a proven gift for making highly polished genre movies with a female lead transforming into an incredibly resourceful kickass heroine. Anna is bound to entertain every action fan out there.
If you are a passionate fan of Besson’s films like me and for years have embraced his films for their distinctive style and intricately choreographed action sequences, you can’t miss Anna on screens and should see it right now.
“All you need for a movie is a gun and a girl”. – Jean-Luc Godard