“Anna” stars Sasha Luss, Luke Evans, Cillian Murphy, and Helen Mirren. Released on June 21, 2019, the film is about a woman who becomes a dangerous assassin.
The film is written and directed by Luc Besson, who also directed films such as “The Fifth Element”, “Arthur and the Invisibles”, and “Lucy”. If movies about talking toys aren’t your thing, perhaps it’s time for me to talk about something that’s more heavy on the action and less on the playtime. Chances are some of you didn’t realize this was coming out on the same weekend as “Toy Story 4”. Well, thanks to me, now you do. I too didn’t realize that Luc Besson has a new film coming out until I saw the trailer for it for the first time. Knowing that I’m always in a mood for some thrills and I’ve been following Besson’s work for quite a while, this was something that I couldn’t pass up. It definitely looked like it could be an engaging thrill ride for the adults based on the marketing. Unfortunately, based on my experience, it wound up being an underwhelming mess of a film that failed to capitalize on its fun premise.
The story focuses on Anna Poliatova (Luss), a young Russian woman who is hired by a mysterious organization to become their most feared assassin. Later on, she must find a way to escape that life without getting killed in the process. On paper, it sounds like something that could rival the likes of “John Wick”, “Atomic Blonde” or even “Red Sparrow”. On the screen, however, it’s something that tried way too hard to be either one of those films. The film did offer some twists and turns to keep it from being simplistic as well as a non-linear narrative, but it’s hard for me to keep myself invested in these types of elements because their attempt at making the plot and the characters just as exciting as the action was almost nonexistent. What’s even worse was that the film also suffered from its uneven pacing and its running time. There were some parts that chugged along quite nicely and there were some parts that dragged on a bit too long. The most important thing about making action thrillers like this is making sure the character-driven scenes are as thrilling and well-paced as the action scenes. The only parts in the film that I enjoyed the most were the performances from the cast and the action sequences. Sasha Luss did an OK job with her performance as the title character. It’s far from perfect, but she has room to improve in the near future. Helen Mirren was the only actor that made the film somewhat tolerable for me. She plays the type of character that doesn’t play well with others, and she fits that character’s shoes quite nicely. I also have to admit that the fight sequences were pretty darn enjoyable, especially the restaurant sequence that was shown in the trailer. It’s too bad that the film’s action wasn’t great enough to save itself from being a tedious experience.
Overall, Luc Besson’s latest action film, “Anna”, gets shot in the head by the sheer amount of boredom and blandness. While the performances and the action were tolerable for the most part, they weren’t enough to overcome its underwhelming story, forgettable characters, and uneven pacing. It’s not the worse action film I’ve seen, but it didn’t exactly meet all of my expectations, in my opinion. If you’re a fan of Besson’s other works, I would say that it’s worth watching once on television.