review by Bobby Blakey
Over the years Luc Besson has delivered some great action films both in writing and directing including Le Femme Nikita, The Professional aka Leon, The Fifth Element, Taken and Lucy. Now he is stepping behind the camera once again for his latest flick Anna starring Sasha Luss, Helen Mirren, Cillian Murphy, and Luke Evans, but does it capture his usual magic or will it fail to take out its mark?
Anna follows Anna Poliatova, who beneath her striking beauty lies a secret that will unleash her indelible strength and skill to become one of the world’s most feared government assassins. It’s been awhile since we got an old fashioned action film written and directed by Besson so when this trailer dropped and saw him attached I was instantly in. While this film isn’t as action heavy as I had expected it offers up so much more to make up for it. Here we have a bit of a slow paced start before it kicks into high gear. Throughout the film Besson takes the out of order approach to tell this multilayered story at different times allowing it to continue to surprise. There is a by the numbers tone to some of it and its not overly hard to figure out some of the plot twists, but I still found myself entertained.
Sasha Luss who played the alien princess in Valerian (an underrated film overall) does great job in the role. She brings more to it than I thought she might and in turn made for a great character. The rest of the cast are good but with most being pretty average characters and nothing overly original. Some might find the overall direction of the film a bit of a misstep without any specific villain to speak of, but I enjoyed the story Besson was trying to tell and keeping it about Anna herself.
I really did enjoy this and while I am sure this is a by the numbers production for Besson, this sort of thing from him just works for me. Sure I wish there had been more action, but what we do get in two pretty big sequences is well done and fun to watch. Much like films such as Red Sparrow I think this is going to be one that splits some expecting a more action heavy film and others finding it too slow for the run time. I was hoping for a different ending, especially figuring it out pretty quickly, but still think it works and worth checking out.
In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including featurettes taking you behind bringing Besson’s latest action film to life. Find your target and grab your copy of Anna when it hits digital, 4K Ultra, Blu-ray and DVD on September 24th from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.