TL;DR – A lacklustre film from start to finish
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Ava Review –
When you see a film with an extraordinary cast that has been amazing in similar movies and with a strong premise, you expect a lot when you click play. Well, you at least expect something. However, today we are looking at a film that takes all that potential and does precisely nothing with it.
So to set the scene, we own with “Brandy” (Jessica Chastain) picking a British businessman Peter Hamilton (Ioan Gruffudd) from the Paris Airport. But as we soon see, Brandy is not just your average Uber Driver doing some flirting on the side. For Brandy is actually called Ava, a hired killer and Peter is about to have a horrible day. After the mission, Ava returns home to Boston, but all is not well as Management is now having her watched. Now before we dive into the film proper, it needs to be said that this was a film that was written by and originally meant to be directed by someone who has plead guilty to common assault with regards to his then partner.
To look at where this film goes wrong, we need to first look at the slapdash story. This is a film with not one signal interesting character in its run time. Which is almost impressive given you have a cast that includes Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell, Geena Davis, Common, and John Malkovich. This lack of characterisation is then followed by some of the most awkward dialogue that I have seen in a film this year. It honestly feels like they didn’t spend any time in rehearsal and then locked that first take and moved on. You then compile this with story inconsistencies that you could drive a semi through, and you get the final narrative.
The next issue that impacts the film is its production, I am not sure what happened behind the scenes, but nothing comes together here. To go with the awkward dialogue, it felt that there wasn’t the time used to get the balance of the ADR right, leading to scenes that feel like both characters are not in the same place. Also for a film about a killer-for-hire, most of the action scenes were just well dull. I am not sure if the issue was done to how much footage they had to use when putting together the final edit, but the fights have no energy to them.
In the end, do we recommend Ava? No sorry, not in the least. This is a film that had one engaging scene (where everyone pretends not to be killers in front of a kid) during its entire runtime. If you like the idea of this but would like to see a film that actually works I would recommend Atomic Blonde.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Ava
Directed by – Tate Taylor
Screenplay by – Matthew Newton
Music by – Bear McCreary
Cinematography by – Stephen Goldblatt
Edited by – Zach Staenberg
Production/Distribution Companies – Voltage Pictures, Freckle Films & Vertical Entertainment
Starring – Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell, Geena Davis, Common, John Malkovich, Christopher Domig, Joan Chen, Diana Silvers, Jess Weixler & Ioan Gruffudd
Rating – Australia: MA15+;