Just last week, the trailer for Jessica Chastain’s badass ginger assassin Ava was released. After a job goes wrong, she’s forced to fight against the organisation she is supposed to work for and with, including Colin Farrell (sporting a dodgy-looking haircut). But will she make it out alive?
After Matthew Newton stepped down as director due to allegations of assault and domestic violence, Tate Taylor stepped in. This, then, marks his second film with Chastain, after she was nominated for an Oscar in Taylor’s 2011 film The Help. It’s also not his first foray into the world of action and drama – 2016 saw Taylor direct the mediocrely-received Girl on the Train (receiving a so-so 45% on Rotten Tomatoes), whilst last year saw the director venture into horror with the slightly better Ma (gaining a 55% rating). Taylor’s films certainly have range that could really help Ava find its feet if used right.
However, totalling two minutes and nine seconds, there is a lot in this trailer. Not just quick-cut action sequences: it feels like some pretty major plot points might have been revealed to us too. Whether Vertical Entertainment (distributor for the UK) aren’t completely happy with the finished product themselves, and only include so much footage for the sheer point of persuading audiences to watch it, remains to be seen. But a trailer like this is, unfortunately, is something I never take as a brilliant sign.
I’m also slightly struggling with the gender dynamics I’m seeing in this trailer. Chastain’s character is amazing—but the organisation she works for seems pretty male heavy. Whilst this new age of female assassins on-screen is just, well; cool (think Atomic Blonde and the upcoming Black Widow film), I can’t help but think how I’d like to see these female assassins work for somewhere that actually hires women on its board of directors – if they even have such a thing!
Ava is set to be released 25 September this year, and whilst all the action would make for a great cinema experience, it’ll be COVID-depending whether we get to experience it on the big screen or sat on our sofas.
Words by Harriet Metcalfe