Generic Besson

Luc Besson, France’s best-known cinema popcorn auteur, has since 1990’s La Femme Nikita frequently fetishized the honeypot assassin. This time it’s Anna, a gorgeous Russian woman trained by the KGB to kill in a variety of ways. The CIA blackmails her into using her talents for them, and she must use all her skills and feminine wiles to be free of both sides. 

Sasha Luss (a real Russian) in the title role may be headed for a promising career. But probably not in the movies. Anyway any acting slack is taken up by Helen Mirren, hamming it up with a Rooooosyin accent, and Cillian Murphy, pulling off a creditable American accent, holds up the Western end. 

No one’s talking about great cinema here, but it’s competent and stylish multiplex drivel with a few well-choreographed John Wick-like mass murder set pieces thrown in to keep you awake. The storytelling suffers from frequent and exhausting timeline-jumping, and it doesn’t even consider trying anything new.

Say something nice: Okay, it’s better than Red Sparrow.

(118 min)