Anna ★★

Luc Besson’s lifelong obsession with female empowerment has always been hard to square with his lifelong hobby of female objectification. The stylish French auteur and film mogul responsible for the likes of “Lucy,” “The Professional,” and at least nine alleged instances of sexual impropriety loves to build movies around blank women — usually fashion models — who can be reformatted with the power of his own design and costumed with the scant agency he’s afforded them.

In “Anna,” a competent spy thriller that would feel anonymous if not for its slinky bodies and recognizable psychosexual undercurrents, Besson’s signature tendency is expressed with the same literalness that it was in “The Fifth Element” and “La Femme Nikita.” Why start being subtle about it now? Caught in a tug-of-war between the CIA and the KGB, the heroine this time around — a lithe Russian model named Anna who’s played by a lithe Russian model named Sasha Luss — is straight-up described as a skull key, “which means she has the potential to open many doors.”

Of course, Anna can only unlock them because Besson has taken it upon himself to unlock her — to turn her into an unstoppable killing machine who slaughters every single man who looks at her yet always does the camera’s bidding. That dynamic may not be any more pronounced than usual, but it’s far more exposed. Besson has always displayed a unique knack for layering heady concepts in a candied gauze of pop spectacle, but here — in a movie that feels like nothing more than a desperate bid to save the director’s flailing studio — his base desires are barely dressed up.

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