Anna (aKa ANИA) is a 2019 action film written, produced & directed by Luc Besson (Leon: The Professional,La Femme Nikita, The Fifth Element, Lucy, Subway, & The Family). It was produced by Jason Cloth (Joker, The Addams Family, RoboCop Returns, Assassination Nation, & The Mule) Andjelija Vlaisavljevic (Mayhem, Crawl, Krypton, Everly, Cat Run, & Lockout), & Marc Shmuger (Lucy, Dead of Winter, Zero Days, & The Circle). The budget was $30 million & it grossed $30.7 million worldwide at the box office. Anna (played by: Sasha Luss from The Last Front & Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets), a beautiful woman who has been the victim of domestic abuse sees no point in continuing her life. Her bad luck turns into something good, she reluctantly accepts an offer by KGB officer Alex Tchenkov (played by: Luke Evans from Fast & Furious 6/7, Dracula Untold, MA, & The Alienist). After a year of training, she is to work as a KGB assassin for five years under a handler named Olga (played by: Helen Mirren from Red 1/2, Fast & Furious franchise, Hitchcock, Caligula, The Long Good Friday, & The Queen).
After which she will be free to continue her life as she pleases. KGB head Vassiliev (played by: Eric Godon from Sherlock Holmes vs. Frankenstein, The Pack, The Missing, & In Bruges) is not willing to honor this agreement, implying that the only way out of the KGB is death. She goes undercover as a fashion model & she is hired to work in Paris. She hooks up fellow model Maud (played by: Lera Abova). At the same time she completes various missions & assassinations. When she is found out by the CIA, she agrees to work for them as a double agent with Agent Lenny Miller (played by: Cillian Murphy from The Dark Knight trilogy, Red Eye, Peaky Blinders, Sunshine, & 28 Days Later) in exchange for the promise of immediate retirement and a protected life in Hawaii. Miller later tasks her with assassinating Vassiliev with the CIA hoping that his absence would lead to smoother relations with the KGB. Anna is caught between both deadly organizations while trying to survive her deadly missions. Can she play both & still end up alive? or Will her luck finally run out????
Luc Besson is more known as a producer than a director these days. He has produced the Taken franchise, The Transporter franchise, District 13 franchise, & many other features especially in the action sub-genre. He has specialized in his own style of those films mainly with vicious women. It has inspired loads of imitations over the years but he was the one that really made it work back in the day. Speaking of back in the day, Anna is very similar to Besson’s own La Femme Nikita in many ways. It could almost be considered a loose remake of it to be honest. This is one of my personal favorite action flick of 2019 & I am beyond shocked that it didn’t do that great at the box office. Yeah, lead actress Sasha Luss is definitely no Helen Mirren when it comes to acting but that’s why she has such a talented cast when it comes to Anna. It helped her & it probably gave her a better performance than what she would have done with a lesser cast. I thought she was still solid here for being a supermodel but nothing special. She looks amazing & let’s be honest she delivers when it comes to eye candy. She is also not afriad to show off some skin either.
Helen Mirren is one of the best actresses of all time, she is brutal in Anna. I loved her character, you never knew what she was going to do. Luke Evans is popping up everywhere lately, he had great chemistry with the two mentioned before. He was the enforcer for the Russians & the last person that you would want to see from them. I’ve always been a huge fan of Cillian Murphy, his role is very shady in this but he always keeps his word at the end of the day. I enjoyed the mystery of Miller here. Eric Godon & Andrew Howard (Bates Motel) were both great additions to the rest of the supporting cast. They really helped the lead & boosted the quality of the overall production. Anna is one of most brutal movies that I’ve experienced all year. I lost count on how many were killed in this, more than most slasher films. It had some gruesome moments mixed in with some nice humor thrown in. The restaurant scene is one of the craziest action scenes that I’ve ever seen in my life. It makes you look at plates & forks different. HAHA It’s one of the funnest of 2019, it’s pure entertainment with a sexy chick & lots of violence. Some of the twists were a little predictable but it had some nice surprises. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Lionsgate! This 2160p (2.39:1) transfer with HDR: Dolby Vision & HDR10 looks stunning in 4K. All the foreign locations really shine in this format, it’s loaded with beautiful locations & women. It has a trio of audio options that include English: Dolby Atmos, English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1, & Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 on this UHD. This release is definitely top 3 of 2019 when it comes to sound for the 4K format. It delivers everything that you would expect for an action & crime flick. This is reference quality, all the madness is elevated & the music has an insane boost to it. The dialogue is very clean. It also has English SDH & Spanish subtitles. This is a high quality release when it comes to the technical aspects. It truly sounds amazing!
Let’s discuss the special features from Lionsgate! “Dressing a Doll: The Costumes of Anna” is a little over 8 minutes. It has interviews with director Luc Besson, star Sasha Luss, & Olivier Bériot. It really focuses on costume designer Olivier Bériot & his work for the production. They go over the huge variety of different looks & costumes for the lead character Anna. “Anatomy of a Scene: The Restaurant Fight” is almost 7 minutes. It has interviews with director Luc Besson & star Sasha Luss. It has all kinds of behind the scenes & training footage. They chat about the huge fight scene. Sasha said that she did as many stunts as she could for it. They talk about influences & the fighting style used against her foes in this. “Unnesting a Russian Doll: Making Anna” is almost 14 minutes. It has interviews with director Luc Besson, actors Sasha Luss, Luke Evans, Helen Mirren & various members of the production. They chat about the production & their experience. They talk about working with each other. Luc tells a funny story about Cillian Murphy turning him down twice before taking the role. “Constructing the Car Chase” is almost 6 minutes. It has interviews with director Luc Besson & the stunt coordinator. They go into detail about chase & car stunts for the feature. Half of the extra is subtitled, just a warning. It also has a digital code & a blu ray copy included with this release. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!