‘Ava’ Review | Jessica Chastain’s Killer Moves & Star Studded Cast Can’t Beat a Wretched Script

Since it’s Friday, what better way to end the madness of professionalism filled with too many zoom calls which could have been emails than to have a movie night? Given I’m typically a fan of documentaries, dystopian psychological thrillers, mixed with an occasional affinity for zombie flicks, my lady took it upon herself to select the movie for tonight’s collective viewing.

She chose a film titled ‘Ava‘ which was just released stateside earlier today. After reading the one-line description, I voluntarily agreed to this selection.

My lady likes the ruthless feminine characters who can express such with a touch of class and eloquence. Who else is a better actress at such roles than Jessica Chastain? Seeing the star studded cast included names like Colin Farrell, John Malkovich, and Common, I assumed it couldn’t be a poor decision… I mean what could go wrong?

An assassin becomes marked for death by her own black ops organization after questioning orders and breaking protocol.

Well I assumed wrong and what could go wrong is an all too generic plot and poorly written screenplay which lacked any character development. Ava is the only character who gets some depth and detailing and Jessica Chastain (also the producer) makes the most of it. Rest of the characters are criminally wasted including Colin Farrell and John Malkovich.

To add insult to injury, plot freshness isn’t one of the strongest points of this film. That is to say writer Matthew Newton barely manages to come up with anything extraordinary. The overall writing is just run-off-the-mill, but there are spurts of excitement when Ava is on a mission. However, even then, there’s never any real tension or urgency, despite mindless executions.

All in all, its Jessica Chastain’s charisma and star power that save the day for Ava. Otherwise, it’s an unimaginative plot with less thrill and more clichés.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Using a 5-star rating system, I’d give this movie 2 stars simply out of respect for the cast.

Critical Response

The film provides an adequate showcase for its producer-star’s unexpected prowess as an action hero — yet Matthew Newton’s skimpy, dial-a-cliché script makes the whole enterprise feel more like a mid-range series pilot than a major star vehicle.

Guy Lodge, Variety (full review)

Chastain is utterly convincing in another tough-as-nails role. If audiences stick with the movie, it’s largely thanks to her movie-star charisma, which almost compensates for the increasingly ridiculous plot. Malkovich and Farrell seem to understand they are A-list talent in B-movie roles, and relish the opportunity.

Boyd van Hoeij, The Hollywood Reporter (full review)

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