The teaser trailer for “Black Widow” came out this week for the long-awaited origin movie of Marvel’s most famous kick-ass heroine. The movie, however, won’t come out until May 1, 2020. If you can’t wait until next year, you can watch “Anna” that came out this year. “Anna” is not a superhero movie but an old fashion KGB spy thriller. While she doesn’t fall through the air as everything explodes around her, Anna can her hold her own in an extended ass kicking contest.
Anna, played by Sasha Luss, works at a Moscow market stall when she’s recruited by a Paris fashion model agency. She flies to Paris and quickly transforms into a fashion model. When she meets a prominent Russian arms dealer at a party, she goes back to his hotel room, and, after excusing herself to the restroom, assassinates him.
Rewind to three years earlier.
Anna finds a KGB agent inside her apartment who kills her good for nothing boyfriend in front of her and ask questions about her online application to join the Soviet Navy. She joins the KGB with the promise of her freedom after one year of training and five years of service. With the guidance of her KGB handler, she becomes a Paris fashion model, meets the Russian arms dealer, finds a gun taped underneath the bathroom counter, and assassinates him. The first of many successful assignments. That is until the KGB leadership denies her freedom and the CIA offers her a way out.
I’m not a big fan of rewinds. Most movies that have rewinds are poorly executed and do little to move the plot forward. All the rewinds in Anna are perfectly executed to make the plot ever so twisty as the double crosses keep piling up. When it becomes obvious that one side or the other had caught on to her, the rewind shows how she escapes from her predicament to change the direction of the story.
When I saw Anna in the theaters, I thought this movie could have been the origin story for “Black Widow.” The major difference between Black Widow and Anna is that Natasha Romanoff, played by Scarlett Johansen, came from a school dedicated to training young girls as assassins. She wasn’t handpicked out of the Navy’s application pool to become an assassin. As for her superhero qualities, the Marvel movies never went beyond that she was a highly trained spy and a longtime S.H.I.E.L.D. agent.
Hence, the need for an origin movie.