An assassin becomes marked for death by her own black ops organization after questioning orders and breaking protocol.
Director: Tate Taylor
Cast: Jessica Chastain, John Malkovich, Common, Geena Davis, Colin Farrell, Ioan Gruffudd, Joan Chen
Action, Crime, Drama
Rated R for violence and language throughout, and brief sexual material
Runtime: 1h 36m
Ava has all the hallmarks of Luc Besson’s late career films, a betrayed assassin fighting for survival with extreme prejudice and a bass heavy techno beat playing the background. Throw in a nonsensical plot and this is the type of movie you probably end up watching during a sleepless night on Showtime simply due to a lack of options. The oddity here is that this isn’t a Besson film, Tate Taylor directs this overly busy femme fatale cliché minefield, led by some model turned actress instead it stars Jessica Chastain. Chastain also produced the film which leads me to believe it might be a bit of a vanity project where she could try her hand as an action hero. As usual, Chastain is the most interesting person on screen and she handles herself well in the action portions of the film, making for a believable killer. The supporting cast is also filled with name stars all making what’s onscreen far more interesting than it should be. The main problem is the film’s script is so hackneyed that once you get past Chastain killing 30 armed guards with her bare hands in a spaghetti strapped cocktail dress you start to notice the film and characters are all kind of ridiculous. Chastain’s character for example doesn’t just have one thing haunting her instead she’s got a bevy of them, she’s an alcoholic, a terrible sister with daddy issues. The fact that Chastain makes this all passable is a testament of her strength as an actress but by the point you have John Malkovick karate fighting Colin Farrell it’s a bit tough to overlook the issues with the script. I can’t say Ava isn’t fun in a trashy sort of way because it is in its own way especially watching all the grade A talent slumming it because of a overcooked script.