Once upon a time, there was a movie named Eve… and then just like with its Biblical namesake, things fell apart due to the revelations of some sins. Originally, Matthew Newton was set to direct Jessica Chastain in this action thriller which she would also produce. However, the actress faced mounting criticism in choosing to work with Newton after several serious incidents of domestic violence and assault, stretching back over a decade and which had been widely reported on in Newton’s native Australia, became public knowledge in Hollywood circles. As a result, Newton was dropped from the production and Chastain turned to Tate Taylor, the filmmaker she worked with on the Oscar-winning The Help, to direct the film.
That was 2018 and since then we had not heard much about the film, but it’s back… with a new name for some reason. Now titled Ava (maybe they thought more people would make the same “sin” joke I did?) this looks like exactly the type of low-level action thriller that just about every serious dramatic actor like Chastain seemingly needs to get out of their system at some point in their careers.
Even the plot synopsis is about as by-the-numbers as they come:
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.
All of that being said, that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it. Not every movie needs to be this original magnum opus. It also helps that Ava has a hell of cast, as it also features Colin Farrell, John Malkovich, Geena Davis, Common, and more. But just what does the movie look like though? Let’s take a look with this first trailer below:
As the trailer mentions, on top of The Help, Tate Taylor is also the director behind The Girl on the Train, as well Get on Up. None of those movies ever gave you the slightest hint that he’s some kind of action whiz, and this trailer isn’t convincing me either. In a post-John Wick world, you have to do more than just the standard shooty-shooty punchy-punchy stuff to get noticed.
That being said, Chastain has always been a very committed actress and it looks (though I could be wrong) that it’s actually her doing all the fights here. That helps tremendously in selling a film’s action as it frees up the director from having to hide stuntperson faces behind quick cuts. And sometimes that’s enough for these type of Sunday evening on M-Net comfort food movies.
Ava is scheduled to release in cinemas on 25 September.
Last Updated: June 25, 2020