Anna is Luc Besson replaying the hits. Stop me if you heard this one. A mysterious female has deep secrets that a foreign government wants. So, she has to fight assassins and kick ass? All the while keeping her sense of self in the face of impending doom?
Never let it not be said that Besson doesn’t like a certain kind of story. The problem is this isn’t Besson doing Besson. This is Besson responding to movies like John Wick and Atomic Blonde. The lead character’s sexuality isn’t as played up as I expected. Not sure if that was due to the lack of confidence in the lead’s acting ability or the general scatter brain nature of the direction.
Many film fans give Tarantino grief for saying he wants to retire after his 10th film. Honestly, the most I see aging directors embarrassing themselves with later entries…the more I understand. It’s not to see that an old master can’t pull incredible films out of their Golden Years. Kurosawa had Ran, Eastwood had Unforgiven and I’m sure Besson could make something great in the future.
It’s just not happening right now. Older people shouldn’t play catch up with kid directors, you should be leading the way. Somewhere between the 20th plot twist and the 40th flashback, I was checked out of the film. Normally, I don’t allow myself to tap out so easily. But, Anna gave me nothing.
Anna’s arrival during a Pixar weekend should tell you everything. Hell, it’s so forgettable that most won’t remember by the year’s end. Coming at a low point in one of the worst summer movie seasons in ages, its uniqueness should have bought it a little leeway. But, here we are now.
The best thing I can say about the film is there is something very Cannon Pictures about it. The film feels almost like exploitation rip-off fare as it is riding the Girl Assassin trend so late in the game that its shameless cash-in nature is bare apparent. I expect more from a Luc Besson movie and audiences should as well. Hopefully, we’ll see a return to form soon enough.
Anna is in theaters now!