The Reel Review


French director Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, Lucy) trots out this modernized rehash of his previous La Femme Nikita, about a beautiful model turned deadly assassin, in this 2019 film starring supermodel Sasha Luss (Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets) as Anna, a Russian beauty who becomes a deadly KGB killer between modeling shoots.

Sasha Luss in Anna

For a relative newcomer to acting, the stunning, cerulean-eyed Luss actually is very impressive as an action star and the film has a slick, stylish look, an energetic score and some entertaining, well-choreographed action scenes. Time jumps reveal how she came to be a spy, despite some laughably bad dialogue and sloppy production (in one scene the dye packs simulating blood stains explode on the wall long after Anna shoots one of the bad guys – oops). Helen Mirren, Luke Evans and Cillian Murphy round out the supporting cast.

Helen Mirren, Sasha Luss and Luke Evans in Anna

Although Besson has previously given us better spy films like La Femme Nikita and The Professional, with other female-driven spy knockoffs Red Sparrow and Atomic Blonde in the past year. But for an over-the-top spy thriller with an insane amount of fight choreography, Anna is a mindlessly entertaining good time.


Anna opened with little fanfare or advance screenings after a group of women came forward accusing director Luc Besson of inappropriate behavior. No charges were filed but as a result, the film, which was supposed to be the big breakthrough for supermodel-turned-actress Sasha Luss, opened quietly and was a box office dud, earning just short of its $33 million budget.

Sasha Luss on the runway (left) and in 2017’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

• Of the entire cast playing Russian characters, only Sasha Luss, who also appeared in Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, is Russian in real life.

• Helen Mirren and Luke Evans previously worked together in 2017’s The Fate of the Furious, playing mother and son.


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