A hard-hitting action thriller that boasts one of the best talents of their generation in the lead role, along with a supporting cast stuffed to the brim with stellar supporting players, sounds like a fun time. Despite the promise it held on paper, though, 2020’s Ava was a crushing disappointment that experienced failure at virtually every turn.
With three-time Academy Award nominee (and eventual winner) Jessica Chastain dipping her toes into the waters of ass-kicking, the film had an instant hook with which to draw in audiences, and we haven’t even mentioned the presence of fellow Oscar winners Geena Davis and Common, Golden Globe victor Colin Farrell, or even the always-welcome John Malkovich.
And yet, Ava suffered from beginning to end, with writer and director Matthew Newton quitting the project before he was fired in the wake of domestic abuse allegations being made against him. On top of that, the finished product sat on the shelf for close to 18 months after shooting in late 2018, only to be unceremoniously sent out to die at the height of the pandemic’s first wave.
To rub additional salt into the wounds, critics and audiences alike savaged the shoot ’em up, bringing it down to an 18 percent Rotten Tomatoes score and 28 percent user rating. Even if Ava sounds like it’s virtually cursed, it has been managing to enjoy a renewed wave of appreciation on streaming this week.
Per FlixPatrol, the instantly forgettable actioner has surreptitiously sidled onto the HBO Max global most watched-list, which is at least something to shout about for a Chastain-fronted genre flick that suffered even worse reviews than The 355.