Sep 192019

Anna might not break new ground and could be considered a second-rate La Femme Nikita or, more recently, Atomic Blonde, but it still was rather entertaining and Sasha Luss in her first major role actually was pretty decent.




Genre(s): Action, Thriller
Lionsgate | R – 119 min. – $29.99 | September 24, 2019

Date Published: 09/19/2019 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Luc Besson
Writer(s): Luc Besson (written by)
Cast: Sasha Luss, Luke Evans, Cillian Murphy, Helen Mirren, Lera Abova

Features: Featurettes
Slip Cover: Yes?
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2

Audio (4K/BD): English (Dolby Atmos), French (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video (4K): 2160p/Widescreen 2.39
Video (BD): 1080p/Widescreen 2.39
Dynamic Range: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265 (4K), MPEG-4 AVC (BD)
Region(s): A, B, C

Lionsgate provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

Note: The screen captures were taken from the Blu-ray disc and do not represent the 4K Ultra HD transfer.

THE MOVIE — 3.5/5

Plot Synopsis: Beneath Anna Poliatova’s (SASHA LUSSS) striking beauty lies a secret that will unleash her indelible strength and skill to become one of the world’s most feared government assassins. But she wants nothing more than pure freedom and is caught between the KGB and CIA and her respective handlers, Alex Tchenkov (LUKE EVANS) and Lenny Miller (CILLIAN MURPHY) respectively, both of whom she is engaged in a romantic relationship.

Review: I’m always game for the HGKA (Hot Girls Kicking Ass) genre of movies and very few do this better than filmmaker Luc Besson as he has demonstrated in movies like La Femme Nikita (and its American remake, Point of No Return) and Lucy, as well as Colombiana which he wrote and produced.

Anna isn’t anything special and feels like a combination of La Femme Nikita meets Atomic Blonde with a sprinkling of Red Sparrow. Not a bad thing yet at the same time, hard to stand out. However, I will say, the stunt work of the few fight scenes were nicely choreographed and while it’s not as smooth compared with Chad Stahelski and David Leitch’s work on the John Wick series, these weren’t half bad and probably comparable to the aforementioned, Atomic Blonde.

Performances wise, Sasha Luss marks her first leading role (she also had a small part in Besson’s sci-fi flop, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. And, all things considered, she wasn’t all that bad, and probably helped somewhat being a fashion model and having a stature that was certainly different. Don’t know if she’s exactly a star in the making as the emotional range for her character isn’t all that wide ranging, but she certainly had the action acumen to pull off the fight scenes (along with her stunt double, of course).

Helping Luss is a nice supporting cast that included Luke Evans, a personal favorite actor of mine and someone who seems to be in the secondary roles of late (like Ma and Murder Mystery), Cillian Murphy plays well as a amiable CIA officer, and of course the wonderful Helen Mirren in one of the more colorful roles, just about hitting it out of the park every time she was on screen.

As already mentioned, Anna was written and directed by Luc Besson and keeping his personal issues aside, the film itself is entertaining but other than a few well choreographed fight sequences, primarily the restaurant and KGB headquarters, there’s nothing of great note about the plot as it does share plenty of similarities with La Femme Nikita and Atomic Blonde. It also was a bit of a distraction seeing modern technology and even fashion despite being set between 1985-90 when neither were all that impressive and on the laughable side. I guess Besson was going for some sort of crossover between old and new.

In the end, Anna was a fine movie. Doesn’t really break new ground in any sense but it made for an okay way to spend two hours and Sasha Luss in the lead wasn’t half bad, just don’t expect anything along the levels of Chad Stahelski/David Leitch. Worthy of a rental.



This apparently does come with a slip cover, though early reviewers for both the Blu-ray and 4K UHDs did not come with one. Inside there is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. All of the features are also available on the 4K UHD disc.

Dressing a Doll: The Costumes of Anna (8:06) breaks down the wardrobe for the time period including the fashion modeling to her KGB attire.

Anatomy of a Scene: The Restaurant Fight (6:41) shows how one of the key, and more impressive, scenes was shot beginning with the practice and choreography.

Unnesting a Russian Doll: Making Anna (13:57) is a little more comprehensive behind-the-scenes featurette with promotional interviews by members of the cast and crew discussing the plot, characters and particularly Anna as portrayed by fashion model turned action actress Sasha Luss.

Constructing the Car Chase (5:40) looks at what it took to film the chase sequence.

Trailers (Blu-ray only): Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Angel Has Fallen, Rambo: Last Blood, Hellboy (2019), John Wick: Chapter 3


4K VIDEO – 5.0/5, BD VIDEO – 4.75/5

Lionsgate releases Anna onto 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray where its presented with a 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio and a 2160p and 1080p high-definition transfers, respectively. The picture takes full advantage of the quasi-1980s setting with some nice set design work and some of the colors get a solid boost thanks to the HDR (Dolby Vision is also available). Detail on both formats is sharp and well defined throughout and no apparent signs of aliasing, artifacts or banding on the 4K format (and doing some testing on the Blu-ray, none really present there either).

4K/BD AUDIO – 4.75/5

Both the 4K UHD and Blu-ray discs come with a strong Dolby Atmos track which really gives the few action scenes a nice enhancement making use of every speaker and the LFE channel comes to life, lightly shaking the floor and wall but never overbearing while dialogue comes through the center channel with good clarity.


OVERALL – 3.5/5

Anna might not break new ground and could be considered a second-rate La Femme Nikita or, more recently, Atomic Blonde, but it still was rather entertaining and Sasha Luss in her first major role actually was pretty decent. The 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray combo pack offers up excellent video and audio transfers but the bonus material was on the basic side.




The screen captures came from the Blu-ray copy and are here to add visuals to the review and do not represent the 4K video.

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