Movie Review – Ava (2020)

Jessica Chastain as a lady assassin. What could go wrong?

Well…it’s not that this movie is all bad, but it could have been a lot better.

There’s star power. Colin Farrell. Geena Davis. John Malkovich. Common.

But alas, the plot is rather thin.

Chastain plays Ava, a woman who, years ago, had a falling out with her family and ran away to join the army and later, become a hitwoman for hire, beholden to a mysterious agency, Malkovich playing Duke, her handler.

The reasoning for the running away from her fam – well, it sucks but in the grand scheme of things, everyone probably has a story or two to tell about the time they came of age and realized that their parents and/or siblings weren’t the heroes they thought they were when they were young. I won’t spoil it but as backstories go, it seems more like a story that would make a young person want to get a job at Walmart and get a crappy apartment just to get some personal space and not the kind of story where you’d become an assassin but whatever.

The story fluctuates between the main plot of Ava vs her agency, i.e. she has begun to question whether it is right to be an assassin and thus the agency wants to take her out before she grows a conscience. It would probably be good if it focused on this, but it delves into sideplots – i.e. Ava returns to her hometown and squabbles with her mother (Geena Davis, once a great beauty and I think it would have been better if she’d grown old gracefully rather than try to cling to youth with plastic surgery but to the flim’s credit this is poked fun at) and her sister, who is now betrothed to Ava’s old boyfriend, played by Common. In a third subplot, Ava takes on the underground gambling operation that Common’s character owes money to.

There are parts where the acting falls a little flat, but I don’t want to call out the offending actors. Not that it matters. Only 3.5 people read this blog anyway.

My feeling is with a better script this movie could have been a lot better but instead it serves as sort of a showcase for the talents of a lot of actors and perhaps a stepping stone for Chastain to enter into the badass female character genre.

But I’ll be honest, if it weren’t for COVID shutting down theaters, I probably wouldn’t have wasted much time with this.

STATUS: Moderately shelf-worthy.

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