REVIEW: Espionage Eurotrash Anna

Noted French pervert Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, Lucy) is back with another story of a badass woman who happens to be everything a horny screenwriter could want her to be — avidly bisexual, eager to sleep with men she works with, doesn’t talk a lot — in Anna, a loopy chunk of Eurotrash starring Russian model Sasha Luss as a lethal operative working with both the KGB (led by Helen Mirren and Luke Evans) and the CIA (hello Cillian Murphy) in Paris in 1990.

Besson keeps things … well, if not interesting then at least confusing by regularly presenting a series of events that makes little internal sense, then jumping back “3 years earlier” or “2 months earlier” to explain the context. (There are at least six instances of this, including one 10 minutes before the movie ends.) The nonlinear storytelling is designed to obfuscate the story’s weaknesses, though it does result in several entertaining WTF moments. There are also story elements that make no sense anyway, regardless of timeline.

One scene of mayhem in which Anna messily dispatches numerous foes with the broken shards of a dinner plate is thrilling in a John Wick sort of way, and there are moments of cheesy absurdity that can’t help but make you smile and shake your head. But most of it’s bland, formulaic espionage nonsense with Google-translated dialogue, ungainly attempts at comedy, and Besson’s leering gaze.

Grade: C

1 hr., 59 min.; rated R for strong violence, language, and some sexual content

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Eric D. Snider has been a film critic since 1999, first for newspapers (when those were a thing) and then for the internet. He was born and raised in Southern California, lived in Utah in his 20s, then Portland, now Utah again. He is glad to meet you, probably.

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