Anna Parent Guide
No matter what offends you in the movies, "Anna" is sure to deliver.
Parent Movie Review
It seems like Anna (Sasha Luss), a poor street market vendor in Moscow has hit the jackpot: a talent scout for a modeling agency spots her and spirits her away to a life of excitement and glamour in Paris. What this hapless scout doesn’t know is that Anna is no street vendor, but a highly trained and very lethal KGB agent who’s in Paris to assassinate a target. Under cover as an international model, Anna pursues her mission through a web of global intrigue, disguise, and danger.
The biggest problem with this movie is its approach to time: the story starts in 1985, then jumps to 1990, then to 1993, then back to 1990, all the while skipping forwards and backwards in intervals of between three to six months. It’s unnecessarily difficult to keep track of the timeline while trying to remember which characters know what at any given time. I assume this haphazard approach to time is because Anna is too poorly written to incorporate any plot twists or exposition chronologically, choosing instead to avoid revealing important information until the last minute. It’s incredibly annoying, and it makes the film feel nearly an hour longer than it is.
The only redeeming feature in this bloated and overly convoluted “thriller” is Helen Mirren, who seems to be emulating the kind of evil Russian character which Gary Oldman has mastered (see Air Force One for an early example). I appreciate that, because Gary Oldman is endlessly entertaining in those roles, and by steering in that direction Mirren breathes a little life into the picture. Sasha Luss clearly put a lot of effort into learning some complex choreography, but when it comes to any kind of emotional life, she’s been written into a corner. Her character has to have a pretty solid poker face (a hazard of being a spy) but is also scripted as being quite emotionally flat. Luss never gets a big opportunity to be anything more than an icy cold assassin, and though she’s good at it, two hours hitting the same note isn’t terribly fun.
Content-wise, there’s a lot for parents to worry about. Suffice to say, no matter what you’re concerned about, there’s something in the film just for you. Not into gory violence? The film opens with a man being mailed nine severed heads in boxes. Not into sex on the big screen? Oh boy are you in for a rough time, with six sex scenes including a threesome. Not into profanity? Even if you don’t speak Russian, the subtitles will be sure to keep you keep you up to speed with the 50+ swear words in this film.
I love a good spy thriller, and I wanted to like this one, but it’s thoroughly mediocre. Picture Atomic Blonde crossed with the content concerns from Red Sparrow. All in all, there’s a little something for everyone to dislike. Except of course Helen Mirren, to whom I owe a big favor for giving me something fun to watch.Directed by Luc Besson. Starring Sasha Luss, Helen Mirren, and Luke Evans.. Running time: 119 minutes. Theatrical release June 21, 2019. Updated July 8, 2019
Rating & Content Info
Why is Anna rated R? Anna is rated R by the MPAA for strong violence, language, and some sexual content
Violence: Dozens of people are shot, stabbed, beaten to death, or strangled through the course of the film. Additional instances of violence include severed heads in boxes, a kidnapping, a suicide, an attempted suicide, a man being stabbed to death with a fork, and a person’s finger being cut off.
Sexual Content: There are no fewer than six sex scenes, one of which involves brief breast nudity and another of which is a threesome. There is a reference to prostitution. Female characters are frequently shown in their underwear in the context of modelling auditions.
Profanity: There are approximately 55 uses of profanity or sexual language in Anna, including 26 sexual expletives. Approximately a dozen of the profanities are in Russian with English subtitles.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Characters are shown drinking champagne socially and are not depicted as intoxicatec. Some characters are shown casually smoking cigarettes. There is one reference to marijuana, though none is shown or used.
Page last updated July 8, 2019
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