*Contains some spoilers
Ghosted is even more bland and unoriginal than your typical Hallmark channel movie, with bad acting, terrible one-liners and a forgettable plot that fails miserably as it tries too hard to be too many things.
With a leading star like Chris Evans attached viewers would ultimately expect a thrilling and exciting action-packed blockbuster. However, Ghosted is a movie that proves there is an oversaturated streaming market, and one that viewers would absolutely choose to “ghost.” The upcoming Apple Studios rom-com action flick from Dexter Fletcher, the director of the award-winning film Rocketman is truly one you would rather forget.
The excruciatingly painful nearly two hour romantic spy thriller is a shameful attempt at a romantic comedy that tries too hard to be too many things, failing miserably at all of them. The pure laziness and reliance on money with a ridiculous amount of star-studded cameos is quite insulting to movie-goers. The film produced by Apple Studios and Skydance, starring Chris Evans and Ana de Armas will be released by Apple TV+ on April 21, 2023.
“Salt-of-the-earth Cole falls head over heels for enigmatic Sadie — but then makes the shocking discovery that she’s a secret agent. Before they can decide on a second date, Cole and Sadie are swept away on an international adventure to save the world.”Apple TV+
Evans plays Cole Turner, a smart yet annoyingly clingy farmboy, obsessed with plants who meets the mysterious art curator Sadie (Ana de Armas) at a farmers market. The movie starts off with a painful first encounter and some cringe-worthy banter about plants before the two agree to an impromptu date. The pair exchange some bland flirtatious dialogue as they they take their date to multiple locations including an art gallery and then eventually ending up at Sadie’s home.
Of course the overzealous Cole falls madly in love with the first woman who gives him a second as he obsessively texts her in an uncomfortable manner. Cole gets you guessed it – ghosted by Sadie who isn’t responding, so he finds a truly ludacris way of tracking her down. After their “magical” date Cole left his inhaler in her backpack, so of course he finds an excuse to be a creep and follow her to London. Who writes this stuff? This is not romantic…. Borderline YOU.
This is when Cole finds out that she isn’t an art curator but a secret agent and now she is forced to protect him. Which he reminds us of her dishonesty every five minutes with his irritating wining.
A guy gets ‘ghosted‘ by an attractive woman who ends up being a secret agent – The premise is literally copied and pasted, poorly executed and was probably written by Chat GPT- which is a sign of bad days to come for cinema. If you’re going to use this massively mundane concept and solely rely on star power to sell it, then you need the perfect casting and at least a well-written script to achieve this.
At one point you question if this is supposed to a be a scary movie type parody mocking action -comedies but even that would still be a failed attempt at a comedy. Not only were the pair incredibly boring, but Ana de Armas was severely miscast, and the two main costars lacked any chemistry – which is surprising as they both worked closely together in numerous films. This just proves that star power does not automatically make for good entertainment.
The duo ironically had better chemistry in Knives Out, their uncomfortable scenes together in this film made the entire love portion of the movie unbelievable, awkward and hard to watch. A much better example of a similar premise was Mr. and Mrs. Smith in which Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie both exuded sexual chemistry, and successfully mastered both aspects in terms of balancing romance and action.
Another former co-star of Evans, Scarlett Johansson was originally in negotiations to play the female lead in Ghosted, but in 2021 she had to drop due to a scheduling conflict, leading to Ana de Armas being cast in her place. Johansson would’ve been a much better casting choice as she has a proven track record of showcasing acting chops when it comes to exhibiting ass-kicking. Similar to her role as Dani Miranda in The Gray Man de Armas comes off as one-dimensional and simply as eye-candy, that is unconvincing as an action-hero.
For some reason Hollywood keeps insisting on casting Ana de Armas in these action roles, trying to make her into the next action star – which her last few attempts have consistently proven she is just not convincing. De Armas is not believable as someone that can take on a crew of highly trained assassins or let alone even take a punch. She looks like a supermodel holding a gun and a cosplayer impersonating an operative. Oddly enough Evans as an annoying farmer is still more believable in his action sequences as he outshines his co star which is purely ridiculous. Evans also somehow overpowers a highly-trained operative, the random Asian dude who happens to be the sterotypical martial artist.
De Armas also lacks the comedic chops and comes off as cheesy, and is never remotely funny. To her defense these were not-well written roles, it also doesn’t help that the film is full of terrible one-liners.
Who travels across the world and doesn’t empty their book bag? A trained spy wouldn’t be so careless to leave an unknown device with tracking in their bag no matter how innocent Evans’ character seemed. This is just terrible writing.
Let’s also address the elephant in the room, Evans is not believable as a man that women don’t want to sleep with. He comes off as brainless yet he’s supposed to be intellectual and a historian. He lacks charisma and still does not successfully land the nerdy “I don’t know how to keep a woman” insecure played-out trope that Superbad perfects.
We all know that Evans typically has the range and comedic chops, he absolutely crushed it in The Gray Man as a compulsive psychopathic loose cannon, but in Ghosted Evans comes off as robotic and formulaic and like a pathetic teenager not a grown-ass man. He carries a suitcase through a shoot-out yelling how upset he is that Sadie lied to him – cheesy moments like this get very redundant.
Speaking of cheesy along with the rest of the cast talents like Academy Award-winning actor Adrien Brody, Amy Sedaris and Tate Donovan are also wasted and under-utilized. Brody plays a ridiculously accented French villain that is a mockery of an antagonist that can’t seem to stand on his own two-feet with a bunch of counterproductive henchman.
*SPOILER AHEAD Also thrown into the mix are a bunch of useless Marvel Avenger cameos as expendable assassins. While this may have been literally the funniest effort of the entire movie, it solely did not nothing in terms of adding any context to the plot or making this a better film. If you’re going for absurd and outrageous then commit and be consistent. Perfect examples of this are BulletTrain, Kingsman and Kickass – these films are all action-comedies that are entirely committed to being bizarre and fantastical while successfully balancing humor.
In terms of action Ghosted is unoriginal and brings nothing new to the spy-action genre. It lacked any actual detective work, espionage, or smarts. It displays concepts we’ve seen over and over again. There is a ridiculously unrealistic skyhigh plane brawl (that clearly never left the ground) as it never once showed a moment of unbalance or danger. There was never a moment where Armas truly looked in danger either or like she could actually hurt someone.
The movie surprisingly had one decent high-stakes action sequence atop a trendy futuristic spinning restaurant which probably showcased whatever potential range Ana has with mediocre stunt-work. However, she isn’t the only one exhibiting poor fight choreography as most of the film featured lackluster action sequences, lazy hand-to-hand combat and poor gunplay.
The movie unsuccessful in depicting elements of both romance and comedy, also massively failed in terms of delivering a blockbuster action. It tries to wow audiences with its explosions, locations, and star-power, and still doesn’t provide anything extraordinary or original.
Overall 5.5 / 10
You can throw in a big budget and all the star-power cameos but this Spy “rom-com” doesn’t even deserve to be on the Hallmark Channel – humorless, utterly ridiculous and the leads surprisingly lack any chemistry. Ghosted may go down as the worst movie of the year with very few laugh-out-loud moments based solely on marvel appearances. From a storytelling standpoint it generally keeps it dreadfully safe and many of the jokes just don’t land. It is not quite original and lacks its own identity.
Can absolutely skip this one.
April 21, 2023