"Anna" (2019" | Sam Gall Movie Review Issue #61 Gem Mint 10.0

“Anna“ (2019)

Director: Luc Besson

Writer: Luc Besson

Starring: Sasha Luss, Helen Mirren, Luke Evans, Cillian Murphy, Lera Abova

Rated: R for strong violence, language, and some sexual content

Runtime: 1h 55min

Genre: Action, Thriller

Beneath Anna Poliatova's striking beauty lies a secret that will unleash her indelible strength and skill to become one of the world's most feared government assassins.

You might like this if you like: Luc Besson(s films like "La Femme Nikita" 1990, "Leon: The Professional" 1994, "The Fifth Element" 1997, "Lucy" 2014), action films, thrillers, spy/espionage stories, assassin movies, female-lead action films, French films, international films, Sasha Luss, Helen Mirren, Luke Evans, Cillian Murphy, Lera Abova, "James Bond" franchise, "John Wick" franchise, "The Villainess" (2017 Korean film), martial arts, "The Raid" Indonesian/Gareth Evans franchise

Sasha Luss in "Anna" (2019)

I remember seeing one scene from the trailer for “Anna” (2019) and I was f*cking hooked. I loved seeing this skinny model obliterate a restaurant full of Russian mobsters with a few rounds, some dinner plates and her bare hands. I’m humming “Anna (Go to Him)” by The Beatles as I’m writing this and only now wondering why they didn’t use it. Probably my favorite ‘Beatles’ song and they had a great opportunity to use it!

This is the ultimate Russian female spy movie for me. If you ever saw the Korean film “The Villainous” (2018) it’s essentially a Russian version of that but with less handheld / docu-cinematography. I love both ways so it just depends on what you’re feeling that night.

Sasha Luss (left) and Lera Abova (right) in "Anna" (2019)

It was so beautifully shot! The locations, the props, costumes. I guess you’d expect that after writing in your lead character as a successful supermodel. I didn’t know here it was going for bit but after the first action scene I saw from the trailer all I wanted was more. That scene goes down in history as one of my favorite action moments of all time!

Cillian Murphy in "Anna" (2019)

Cillian Murphy ("Inception" 2010, "Red Eye" 2005) is one of my favorite actors and I felt like I hadn’t seen him in anything in awhile and was just excited to see his face and hear that voice of his again. I also really love Luke Evans from his role as Bard the Bowman from Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” trilogy (2012-2014) so I was stoked to see him pop up and have a significant role in “Anna” (2019). Lera Abova was terrific as well!

Luke Evans in "Anna" (2019)

A true treat that I had completely forgotten about from the trailer when I sat down to watch was that Helen f*ckin’ Mirren is the Queen B in this movie! The female Marlon Brando of the Russian mob. She’s also one of my favorite actors of all time and kept wondering why all these massive stars were doing this little action movie… Credits roll and I see directed by Luc Besson and all my questions are answered.

Helen Mirren in "Anna" (2019)

Luc Besson’s up there with some of my favorite directors with films like “Leon: The Professional” (1994) being the initial founder and spark of love I have for him as a filmmaker. Sasha Luss I had never seen or heard of before this film. She was just a firecracker of talent out of the blue. I loved her! She was insanely fast and the lankiest action star I can think of. It might her fight scenes really stand out to me. Especially with the costumes. Best dressed action star for sure. I was really impressed with the fact that I had never seen her in anything before and she was holding up against all these veteran actors that I love. Knowing Besson chose her though is part of loving and trusting a director you follow.

Sasha Luss in "Anna" (2019)

A beautiful gem that almost passed through my radar. One of my favorite action films I've seen in years. That one fight scene from the trailer has been glued in my head for months now ever since I saw it. Fantastic espionage thriller with a wonderful cast and can't-beat writer/director; Luc Besson!

Written by Sam Gall on 09/27/20

CGC Grading: Gem Mint 10.0

"(Luc) Besson is one of the creative minds who plays with the viewers and that leads them through extreme situations through the mind of a woman." - Lucero Calderon, Excelsior

"Luc Besson's new movie offers top-notch entertainment in a rocambolesque and very fun spy adventure that triumphs where others stagnate." - Kiko Vega, Espinof

"Anna is a project that makes viewers eager to know more about the protagonist's life before and maybe even after the events depicted." - Hanna B, Film Threat

"[Besson is] riffing on spy movies and their inherent double crosses and triple crosses, stopping just short of parody but letting the audience in on the trick. And thanks to Besson and a willing cast, the trick's a pretty good one." - Adam Graham, Detroit News

Official Trailer:

Available on HBO Max and various VOD platforms

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