“Ava” was directed by Tate Taylor, who previously directed, “Ma”, “The Help”, “Get On Up” & “The Girl On The Train”. The film stars Jessica Chastain, John Malkovich, Common, Geena Davis, Ioan Gruffudd and Colin Ferrell. While film did have a theatrical release September 25, 2020, it was released via streaming service, DirecTV Cinema, on August 27, 2020.
Ava Faulkner (Chastain) is a recovering alcoholic and former soldier turn assassin that has been killed over a dozen people over the years but this last one was a bit different. The target is a financial advisor (Gruffudd) wanted for spilling sensitive information about dirty politicians. Rather than just a killing right away, Ava ask why would someone want him dead and then when he doesn’t comply then kills him. Despite her mission being a success, her employers feel as if she’s becoming more of a problem. Her superior, Duke (Malkovich) tries to warn her that “management” is not happy. While visiting her her sister and sick mother (Davis) in Boston, Ava is attacked by an unknown assailant. Ava is convinced that she’s been betrayed & begins to go after “management”, which leads her another one of Duke’s men, Simon (Farrell). Ava must fend off this assault and protect the ones she loves before things get worse.
This was a basic run of the mill espionage thriller with solid action & a formulaic plot. If not for a great performance from Jessica Chastain, this movie would’ve been more boring and uneventful. She alone makes the movie much entertaining than it has the right to be. The rest of the film is not all the great. Some of action is good but over all, pretty much a mediocre film. It is very similar to “Atomic Blonde” with Charlize Theron, just not as compelling or well shot. The cinematography here is ok at best but I’ve seen other movies that place in Boston that look better like “The Departed”, “The Town”, even “Ted”.
Overall, this was a basic spy thriller with a great lead performance but does not break any new ground. Other movies have done this plot before and done it better. In my personal opinion, if not for the COVID-19 pandemic and with a little more money & time, this movie could’ve been better and given a proper movie going experience. I’m not saying it would’ve been “John Wick” good but somewhere along the line of “Atomic Blonde” or “Eraser”.