Chastain kills it as an action hero(ine)

Ava (15)

Gone are the days when roles for women in action movies were just to provide eye candy as the damsel in distress waiting for little Tom Cruise to save them.

There’s no Cynthia Rothrock-style novelty value in gun toting girls and martial arts mistresses being able to beat the crap out of bad guys anymore. The premise is as credible as any in the genre and those who are not entertained by a good physical thriller are either lying or Jacob Rees Mogg.

The market for such things is undeniable and for all the political correctness now expected of us, I would be lying if I said my enjoyment of films such as Atomic Blonde was completely down to my admiration for Charlize Theron’s commitment to the physical demands of the role.

Another Oscar winner, and my second favourite ginger, Jessica (not Bryce Dallas Howard) Chastain is the latest to produce and star as a blooded, bruised and battered killer in Ava, another film which opted to take the streaming route after the coronavirus messed with its planned cinema release.

And she makes a smashing job of it too with some heavyweight support from John Malkovich, Colin Farrell and Geena Davis along with some even more heavyweight fight scenes that see her dishing it out and getting it back, in slightly unequal measure of course, afterall, she is the heroine and a deeply flawed one at that, like all the best ones are.

Alcoholic, dug addicted runaway – turned contract killer via special forces black ops recovering from a breakdown (talk about having a bad day), Ava has a habit of asking her targets what they did wrong to warrant having a contract placed on their heads, which in the eyes of her employers makes her a bit of a liability.

There’s only so long her handler can protect her from the inevitable.

This is a polished piece of escapism and worth a couple of hours of anyone’s time.

RATING: 7/10


Mick Ferris

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