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This underrated 2019 action movie is a big hit on Netflix now. Here’s why you need to watch it

Sasha Luss in Anna.
Lionsgate

If it seems like there’s an unexpected champion on top of the list of Netflix’s most popular movies every week, that’s because there often is. There’s always at least one film that comes out of nowhere and blows away the competition from both the major studios and Netflix itself. This week, that movie is Anna, a 2019 action thriller from writer/director Luc Besson that bombed during its initial run in theaters. But when has that ever stopped Netflix users from embracing a flick?

One of the big reasons why Anna failed to connect with audiences the first time is that Lionsgate dropped Anna in theaters with little fanfare, so it wasn’t surprising when people simply didn’t show up to see it. Now that the film is enjoying a surge of popularity, it’s time to go over the four reasons why you should watch Anna on Netflix.

It’s La Femme Nikita 2.0

Sasha Luss in Anna.
Lionsgate

Because La Femme Nikita came out in theaters in 1990 and isn’t readily available to stream, it’s largely been forgotten expect by the film lovers who saw it during the ’90s. They’re the ones who correctly pointed out that Anna is largely a rehash of the earlier movie, which was also written and directed by Besson.

But this actually works in Anna‘s favor. While it’s true that La Femme Nikita is a better overall movie, Anna gets a lot of mileage out of following a lot of the same story beats. Since the earlier film is no longer as prevalent as it once was, it’s easier to watch Anna Poliatova (Sasha Luss) rise from nothing to become an elite assassin for the KGB at the tail end of the Cold War. Anna does offer a few changes from La Femme Nikita, but it’s largely the same story. Besson copied from himself because it’s still a winning formula for an action thriller.

Sasha Luss is an action star on the rise

Sasha Luss in Anna.
Lionsgate

If you want someone to convincingly portray an assassin pretending to play a Russian model, it certainly helps to cast a Russian model in the role. Anna was supposed to be the breakout movie for Sasha Luss, but instead she’s only had a handful of parts in the intervening five years. Now that Anna is hit on Netflix, viewers can finally see what drew Besson to her in the first place.

Luss may not have an athlete’s physique, but she dives into the action sequences with enthusiasm. It does require some suspension of disbelief that Anna can overwhelm and kill a room full of trained bodyguards, but it’s still a lot of fun to watch her do it. However, the quality that may lift Luss to greater stardom is that she has the ability to convey Anna’s emotions and thoughts through her facial expressions and body language. That goes a long way toward getting the audience to accept her.

Anna has a stellar supporting cast

Cillian Murphy in Anna
Lionsgate

The presence of the reigning winner of the Best Actor Oscar has to be one of the biggest reasons for the revival of interest in Anna. Oppenheimer‘s Cillian Murphy plays Leonard Miller, a CIA agent who crosses paths with Anna. Murphy’s not the star in this movie, but his character does have one of the key supporting roles.

Helen Mirren also co-stars as Olga, Anna’s reluctant mentor in the KGB, with Luke Evans as Alex Tchenkov, the man who recruited Anna in the first place. Between Murphy, Mirren, and Evans, Luss is surrounded by veteran performers who can make just about anything work. Their presence alone elevates Anna to another level.

The action is thrilling and exciting

Sasha Luss in Anna.
Netflix

Finally, the best reason to watch Anna is for the action. When the film really gets going, it’s thrilling to watch Anna take on several men at once, especially during a very public assassination inside of a restaurant. Besson’s action chorography is fantastic, and the camera always seems to have Suss clearly in focus while Anna fights for her life.

Netflix subscribers love action, and Anna is much better than the standard made-for-Netflix flicks in the same genre. Anna is not without its faults, but it delivers exactly what it’s supposed to.

Watch Anna on Netflix.

Editors' Recommendations

Blair Marnell
Blair Marnell has been an entertainment journalist for over 15 years. His bylines have appeared in Wizard Magazine, Geek…
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