Huh, what? Looking up AVA online, you’ll notice that this movie has some big name stars in it, such as Jessica Chastain, John Malkovich, Geena Davis, Common, and Colin Farrell in it. So why haven’t you heard of it? Because as of right now, until September 25th, it is a Direct TV PVOD Exclusive rental for $12.00 (that I thankfully didn’t pay for either as well as Mulan). And then I think it hits limited theaters and other streaming platforms for rent at the date I listed above. Why such a narrow promotion? Why is it exclusive to just this platform right now? Because the movie SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. Oh boy is it bad.
Ava is a film that screams pay check and producer’s credit, as there is no fucking way that any of these actors and actresses accepted the role based off of reading the script. It doesn’t seem like there was a script as the story, plot and characters are riddled with cliches and are so paper thin. Per IMDB, it describes Ava as such: “Ava is a deadly assassin who works for a black ops organization, traveling the globe specializing in high profile hits. When a job goes dangerously wrong she is forced to fight for her own survival.” You might be asking, does the job that goes dangerously wrong, go wrong on purpose? Spoiler alert: Does a bear shit in the woods? Colin Farrell’s character is a high ranking leader in the same assassin organization that Ava and John Malkovich work for, Malkovich being slightly higher on that ranking list and why Farrell arranges the job to go wrong on purpose and him wanting Ava dead is the stupidest fucking reason I have ever heard of: simply because she talks to her victims before they are killed. Even though she never gives away any pertinent information, she just talks them basically asking if they know why people are paying her to kill them. It’s so so so fucking dumb, especially when she is a fucking lethal machine and is fantastic at her job. And that’s all the movie is, a job going wrong, assassination revenge plot story we’ve seen a billion times before.
But wait, there’s more bullshit side b and c plots of Ava still having family members that are alive: her sister, who is dating Ava’s ex (**eye roll**), and then her mother, played by Geena Davis, in the hospital because of a heart attack and eventually revealing to Ava that she knows that a certain incident that happened in an earlier time in their lives wasn’t their fault (**facepalm**). Oh and Ava has to take care of an $80K gambling debt her ex has (**slams head on table**). And all of it is resolved the way you think it would tacked on with a dumb ending scene that hints at a sequel that will never see the light of day. Take all of that horseshit, and combine it with lazy and terrible direction, awful smoke and gunfire CGI in some scenes, and awful, awful fucking sound effects. You know how assassins know some different forms of martial arts? Well they do that here, but the effects department must’ve had no budget at all, as it is the same loud and overly obnoxious “whoosing” sound effect used on every leg sweep, two-handed throw, and arm jab. I laughed it happened so often. Jessica Chastain is the only one that acts like they want to be there, as her performance is the only thing that is watchable in this. And I suspect she is the only one acting accordingly because she has a producer’s credit to her name on this one. The action isn’t, the story certainly isn’t, and the editing and pacing are sluggish even with a short 96 minute run time.
Colin Ferrell you can tell had the filmmakers cater to his wishes, as most of his role is inside and outside a cabin by the lake, probably one of his real life vacation spots. “Alright, I’ll do this other interior scene and another outside scene as long as they are filmed near by, and I can shoot most of my stuff around my cabin.” That other interior scene was obviously a set on a studio, as if you look out the windows of the hotel he is fighting with Jessica Chastain in, the background outside the window looks like a fast and last minute digital photography job, hastily edited so the background looks jarringly fake as they are moving about the room at different angles. And to make matters more head scratching, this movie is directed by Tate Taylor, who directed the great films The Help and Get On Up, but then also directed only okay ones such as The Girl On The Train adaptation and Ma. Ava is easily his most lazy and worst film. Like the bar is so low he’d have to resort to doing student films if he wanted to make a film worse than this one. Hell, some student films I’ve seen are better than this. So, if you just want to see Jessica Chastain looking gorgeous, acting bad ass, and a couple of scenes she’s either in a red dress or white tank top that reveals some amazing cleavage, that’s the only way I’ll recommend Ava to you. For the rest of you, I highly recommend that you skip this at all possible costs. All. Possible. Costs.