Film Review: Anna (2019)

Luc Bresson’s Anna is totally ridiculous but ultimately proves enjoyable hangover viewing fodder

“I shouldn’t be having conversations like this with anyone”

There’s a time and a place for all sorts and right now, I have to say that I am enjoying a fair bit of mindless culture, aka big, brash popcorn films that allow you to just switch your brain off whilst watching. Which is a long-winded way of introducing the concept that Anna is a trash film but also that it was ideal viewing on a hungover afternoon.

A Luc Besson film whose release last year was kiboshed due to serious allegations made about the director, there’s a slight sense that even without these troubles, Anna wouldn’t have fared too well. Retreading familiar territory in the world of female assassins, a serious case of diminishing returns sets in, exacerbated by a lead performance from model Sasha Luss that leaves her lack of experience cruelly exposed.

 

Luss plays Anna, a woman trapped by circumstance in 1980s Moscow but once given the chance to work for the KGB, is modelled into a ruthless international assassin. All is good until she starts developing a conscience, maybe, I think, and has to work out if she can double-cross her way into freedom before being double-crossed herself.

It’s the type of film that makes its points with a sledgehammer. Every scene in Paris crowbars a shot of the  Eiffel Tower, a holiday to tropical climes is underscored by calypso music…you get the point. The saving grace comes from a big campy turn from Helen Mirren as KGB handler Olga but Anna really isn’t a film to take seriously. Once you’re sure of that, a measure of fun can be had.

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